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Female Genital Mutilation Still In Practice In Rivers State – Vetty Agala


The barbaric practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), is allegedly still being practised in Rivers State, Nigeria.

The President, Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Rivers State, Dr. Vetty Agala, revealed this in an interview with Crystal Express.

She said, regardless of the “Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill” passed in February 2020 by the Rivers State House of Assembly, the outlawed FGM is still a top tradition among the Aminigboko community in Abua/Odual Local Government Area of the state.

Vetty Agala stated the practice involves “the cutting that is done around the clitoris or any part of the female external genital for non-medical reasons.”

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“It is usually practised as a rite or tradition by most communities in Nigeria. Like in Aminigboko community in Abua/Odual Local Government Area of Rivers State where I come from, it is still being practised till today. As a tradition, every woman from the community is made to do it in the sixth month of her pregnancy. The belief is that a woman who fails to do it will either die or have her children dead.”

It could be recalled that former President Goodluck Jonathan had signed into law, the bill passed by the Senate on May 5, 2015 which prohibits any form of mutilation of the female genitals.

Agala described the “uncivilized rite of passage as a myth”, saying it is “an unpopular tradition.”
“Remember that Female Circumcision Law makes it an offence for a female to be circumcised with or without her permission and also provides that no matter the belief or tradition of a particular community, no female shall be circumcised as such an act is an offence.

“The practice is a violation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law. Unfortunately, a lot of the things done in our communities are borne out of traditions that have been carried on over the years, coupled with ignorance”, she explained.

Dr Agala stated that FGM causes “difficulty in child delivery, because when the wound is healed, depending on the type of genital cutting that was done, the normal cervical stretching during labour becomes impossible, leading to cervical tears”.

She said there is also the “danger of infection because of the unsterilized sharp instruments used in performing the obnoxious act”.

“The claim that the female genital cutting is to reduce promiscuity on the part of the woman is a myth. This is because clitoris is the most sensitive part of the woman’s body and when it is cut, she is made sexually insensitive.

“This implies that rather than making her stop desiring sex, she finds it difficult to be satisfied, hence she moves from one man to another in search of a man who can perform better; when in the actual sense, she has lost that sensitivity”, she concluded.

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