The Circumcision Descendants Association of Nigeria have advocated the provision of alternative means of livelihood for their members as a way of curbing Female Genital Mutilation practice in south-west Nigeria.
At a Summit? to End FGM in Nigeria held in Ibadan, Monday, the group said the FGM agenda would be difficult to achieve without the “full involvement” of their members.
“The practice of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) has generated heated debates in the international development arena as an issue linked to women’s rights and gender inequality,” said Abiola Ogundokun, Chairman, Board of Trustees, of CDAN.
“However, it is noteworthy that unknown to the NGOs and principal actors of the FGM campaign, the registered CDAN is equally committed to the same campaign and agenda of the United Nations as contained in our constitution.
“It is unfortunate that the desired efforts of the association have not been utilised for the successful advancement of the project in order to bring the act to an end. Hence the need of this timely proposed summit.”
Mr. Ogundokun, a magazine publisher and politician, said CDAN had made repeated attempts to collaborate with NGOs in the past but failed due to “lukewarm attitude of some of the NGOs.”
“To eradicate FGM from the South West zone of Nigeria and further penetrate other regions, we need to do a lot more. We should increase community awareness and knowledge on the health hazards associated with FGM.”
Scores of CDAN members across the South West, donning uniformed local attires inscribed with ‘Say No to FGM,’ attended Monday’s summit where they watched video clips on the hazards of female circumcision.
Mr. Ogundokun said several deliberations within the rank and file of CDAN membership had resulted in a majority decision for the approval of zero tolerance to FGM.