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FGM: FG inaugurates committee to eliminate practice in Nigeria



The Federal Government and other stakeholders have inaugurated a ministerial ad hoc committee to eliminate the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria.

The committee was inaugurated on Monday in Abuja by the Director, Family Health, Ministry of Health, Dr Boladele Alonge.

Alonge was represented by Dr John Ovuoraye, the Head of Gender, Adolescent School Health and Elderly Care (GASHE) division of the ministry.

She said it was estimated that globally at least 200 million girls and women have been subjected to the practice of FGM.

Alonge added that about 10 per cent of the number of those affected reside in Nigeria.

She added that “although the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) reported a decline in the national prevalence of the practice between 2013 and 2018, some three million girls and women are still at risk.”

She defined FGM as all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

According to her, the act is a violation of the human rights of women and girls.

Alonge said that the National Policy and Plan of Action for the Elimination of FGM provided a clear plan to guide activities of different stakeholders in all fields.

It also provided a clear plan to guide systems and practices, including request that attention be given to identified emerging hotspot states, she added.

She explained that “the purpose is to ensure that men and women, boys and girls in all their diversity are well informed on the dangers of the practice of FGM and be fully involved in the elimination process of the barbaric custom.

“The committee is therefore expected to work with the national technical committee which is the central coordinating and advisory body to the Federal Ministry of Health on issues of FGM toward implementing activities to eliminate the menace.’’

Dr Christian Subam, the Officer-in-Charge, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Nigeria, said that according to UNFPA estimates in 2023, more than 4.3 million girls are at risk of FGM.

According to him, the number is projected to reach 4.6 million by 2030, as conflicts, climate change, rising poverty and inequality continue to hinder efforts to transform gender and social norms that underpin the harmful practice and disrupt programmes that help protect girls.

He added that “in Nigeria, the NDHS 2018 notes that 20 per cent of all women aged 15 to 49, have undergone FGM, while 19.2 per cent of girls age 0 to 14 have undergone FGM.

“This is in spite of a decrease in the national prevalence from 25 per cent to 20 per cent (2013, 2018 NDHS).

“Nigerian women and girls represent 22 per cent of the 68 million at risk of being mutilated by 2030, which is 14.8 million women and girls.”

Sabum said that medicalisation of FGM in Nigeria remained a threat, as well as the need for escalated awareness creation, which must all be addressed urgently.

“The UNFPA led Joint Programme with UNICEF to eliminate FGM is the largest global and national programme to accelerate the abandonment of the harmful traditional practice and thereby advance the rights, health and well-being of women and girls.’’

He reiterated UNFPA’s commitment to address the menace and the three transformative results which are; to end maternal deaths, end unmet need for family planning and end Gender Based Violence and harmful traditional practices, including FGM.

“Let’s work together within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“The policies and laws of the land aligning to strategic direction set out for all of us in the National Policy and Costed Plan of Action for Elimination of FGM in Nigeria (2021-2025) that was developed and inaugurated with support from the joint programme.

“The formation of this committee marks a momentous occasion, signifying the government’s unwavering commitment to protecting the rights and dignity of our girls and women.”

Mr Iliyasu Zubair, the Head of Women’s Rights and Protection, Ministry of Women Affairs, said that the ministry had under the Social Component of its budget for 2023, earmarked N200 million to fight harmful traditional practices which includes FGM.

He said that FGM took the largest share of the harmful practices as one of the health challenges in Nigeria.

He called on all stakeholders to collaborate to bring an end to the harmful traditional practice, saying “we all know the damage the practice of FGM has caused to the female gender, from childhood to adulthood and how it also affect families and marriages.

“I call on all the stakeholders to come together to bring an end to it.”

Mrs Yewande Gbola-Awopetu, the Head, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Response/Gender Unit, Ministry of Justice, said that the ministry is aware that prosecution is key to ensuring deterrence of such violence against the girl child and wowomen.Gbola-

Gbola-Awopetu, who was represented by Temitayo Lawal, Legal/Gender Desk Officer, said that prosecution would ensure that perpetrators know that government meant business.

“We are working to ensure effective prosecution and ready to work with elevant stakeholders to strengthen the mechanism for response to this vile practice, reduce and ultimately eliminate FGM in Nigeria.

“As we are all aware, the Nigerian government has taken steps to provide a legal framework for the protection of women from FGM through robust human rights provisions in the 1999 Constitution, as well as the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015.

“The Nigerian government is adopting these three pronged approach.

“Section six of the VAPP ACT 2015 specifically provides for the prohibition of FGM with a penalty not exceeding four years imprisonment or a fine not exceeding N200,000 or both for anyone found guilty of performing FGM or engaging another person to perform it.”

She, however, said that the focus in the Ministry of Justice is to ensure increase in the level of awareness and implementation of these laws at the Federal, State and local government levels.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 11-member committee consists of members of Family Health Department in Ministry of Health, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Information and Culture and Ministry of Youth and Sport Development.

Others are Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, National Human Rights Commission, The Nigeria Police, UNFPA and UNICEF.


Navy disowns list of successful candidate for Batch 35 recruitment



The Nigerian Navy (NN) has disowned the purported list of successful candidate for its Basic Training School (NNBTS) Batch 35 Recruitment, saying it is fake.

Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, the Director of Naval Information, said this in a statement in Abuja.

Ayo-Vaughan said the exercise was conducted in three centres across the country, namely; Lagos, Rivers and Kaduna States.

He described the information, being circulated recently as fake, and handiwork of fraudulent miscreants who were trying to dupe some unsuspecting applicants.

He said the list of successful candidates had not been released and that no form of invitation for training, via text message had also been disseminated by the Nigerian Navy.

‘’The alarming rate of circulation of fake information by unscrupulous individuals, regarding enlistment or recruitment into Navy is quite worrisome.

‘’Efforts are on to track and arrest the miscreants.

“Members of the public especially prospecting applicants who participated in the said recruitment are strongly enjoined to always authenticate information from the NN official website,, and other official social media handles, as well as other credible mainstream media platforms.

“Similarly, miscreants and mischief makers are warned to desist from this unwholesome practice, otherwise they will face the full wrath of the law,” he said.

Ayo-Vaughan said the text message, had invited unsuspecting applicants to report for military training at NNBTS Onne, Rivers, following their purported selection.

He said the criminals further claimed in the text message that the exercise would commence on Oct. 6.

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Gov. Alia condemns kidnapping of commissioner, one other



Gov Alia Hyacinth Alia

Gov. Hyacinth Alia has strongly condemned the kidnaping of Mr. Matthew Abo, his Commissioner for Information, culture and Tourism, and former Chairman Ukum Local Government Area (LGA), Mr. Iorwashima Erukaa.

This is contained in a press statement on Monday, signed by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Sir Tersoo Kula, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makurdi.

According to the statement, while Mr Abo was kidnapped by unknown gunmen in his Sankara home at about 8pm on Sunday, September 24, Mr. Erukaa was taken away by a yet-to-be identified gunmen on Saturday, September 23.

The Governor, who described the act as barbaric and unacceptable, has directed security agencies to immediately commence operations to ensure the safe release of the duo.

He called on the people of the State to remain calm, as his administration would do everything possible to make the State safe for all.

“The kidnappers have made contacts with the family of Mr Erukaa but are yet to contact Mr Abo’s family,” the statement stated

Several gunmen had stormed the the commissioner’s residence in Zaki-Biam, Ukum LGA and kidnapped him.

Eyewitnesses who spoke to NAN, said that the kidnappers who came on four motorcycles, ordered everyone in the house, including the his wife and children, to lie face down and took him away to an unknown destination.

The witnesses said the abductors compelled the commissioner at gun point to sit behind the rider of one of the motorcycles while a gunman sandwitched him.

Mr Abo was sworn in as a member of the Benue State Executive Council on August 29.

He hails from Ukum Local Government Area of Sankera axis, a major flashpoint of criminal activities with rampant killings and kidnappings for years now.

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