The wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Mrs Feyisetan Fayose will today in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital host critical stakeholders, including three other first ladies from South-West Nigeria to strategize on how to eliminate female genital mutilation in the region.
The three other first ladies being expected are Florence Ajimobi, Oyo, Sherifat Aregbesola, Osun and Olukemi Mimiko from Ondo.
According to a statement signed in Ado Ekiti yesterday by Mr Gbenga Ariyibi, Special Assistant (Media) to the wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Mrs Fayose is collaborating with the United Nations Population Fund, UNPF, to organize the programme.
Ekiti State is second on the prevalence scale for female genital mutilation, even though there is a general consensus that the age long practice is harmful and need to be abandoned but Mrs Fayose believes it remains a major practice with the practitioners hiding under religious and cultural myths on the benefit of the practice.
Ekiti has a prevalence of 71.2 percent. According to Mrs Fayose; ‘’This age long practice is unacceptable and it should be discouraged, hence the need to advocate for its total elimination in the state. ’’It is revealed from the available data from UNFPA-UNICEF that Nigeria has the highest number of women and girls who have undergone female genital mutilation after Egypt and Ethiopia.”
Also expected at tomorrows meeting were the state governor, Ayo Fayose, traditional rulers, federal and state legislators, the judiciary, religious leaders and traditional birth attendants.