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Ebonyi Teenagers Flee Community Over Female Genital Mutilation

Two girls from Abakaliki in Eb­onyi State aged 17 and 18 years, respec­tively have fled their community as men and women numbering 10 run after them over compulsory genital mu­tilation.

Whereas Confidence Mbam, 17 ran to Cross Rive State where her brother lives, the other girl, Faith Nkwede, 18 ran to the Pastor of their church in the nearby vil­lage.

The two girls are from Achacha 1 in Izzi Local Govern­ment Area of the state.

For Confidence Mbam, who had been out of school since she finished primary six, the development turned to a blessing as a non-gov­ernmental organisation (NGO) has withdrawn her from the family as her grandmother cursed and threatened that after the visitors might have left, she would be mu­tilated like every other woman in the commu­nity.

A UNICEF Information Officer, Ijeoma Onuo­ha-Ogwe and some non-governmental organisa­tions (NGOs), witnessed and heard the ordeal of the teenage girls.

Confidence said that she was in their house one hot afternoon when a group of about 10 peo­ple including men and women came to cut her genitalia but was alarmed by the num­ber so pleaded to pick something from the room but had to escape from a small widow in the house.

She said they chased after her but was able to meander into a thick bush that made it diffi­cult for them to catch her.

She said they had been taught by their pastor that it was unhealthy and that their religion does not support that; more so that she was afraid of the pains of being cut at that age of 17.

“I first ran to our Pas­tor and from there lat­er in the night, I ran through the track routes to Cross River State where my brother is liv­ing”, she stated.

Worried by the vitu­perations of the grand­mother, Dr Adline Idike, Founder of Adline Ad­vocacy for the Dignity of the Destitute Foun­dation, who was in the team, requested to have to girl handed over to her for upkeep.

The other girl, Faith’s narration was similar to that of Confidence, but for the fact that she was able to hide within the village and was rescued by their Pastor.

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