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since she finished primary six, the development turned to a blessing as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) has withdrawn her from the family as her grandmother cursed and threatened that after the visitors might have left, she would be mutilated like every other woman in the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