Two students of the Ebonyi State University (EBSU), Abakaliki, who underwent Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), have been hospitalised at the National Obstetric Fistula Centre (NOFIC), Abakaliki.
NOFIC’s Director Dr. Emma Abah addressed pupils of Urban Model Comprehensive Girls Secondary School, Ugwuachara, as part of activities to mark this year’s International Day of Zero Tolerance against FGM.
Abah said the students were battling for survival following complications after FGM. He told the pupils not to allow anyone force them to undergo the procedure.
He said: Two students of the Ebonyi State University have developed complications and are being treated at the National Obstetrics Fistula Centre (NOFIC) free.
“They were mutilated when they were young and now the problem developed. The problem may not be immediate. Ten years after, the problem starts. If you know any person with FGM complications, send them to us. A stitch in time saves nine; report to us immediately.
“The commissioner of Police has ordered that perpetrators of the act and the victim’s parents to be arrested.”
Head of Legal Department, state National Orientation Agency (NOA) Theresa Ama said some of the perpetrators had been arrested.
She said: “Last week, we were called by a traditional ruler in Ohaukwu that some persons mutilated a 16-year-old. When we got there, we met the persons but the police didn’t give us good response because they are not aware of it. The perpetrators were arrested the next day when we went there. They are still in police custody.
“We arrested the parents and the cutter who is a patent medicine dealer; she sells drugs and cuts in her shop. The victim’s parents forcefully mutilated her. It is against the Child Right Act. You don’t need to force a child to be mutilated. If the child says no, you must respect her no.”
Those arrested are Mrs. Onwe Oluchi (the cutter); Agbo Ekpa and his wife Mary (parents of one of the victims).