By Chinonso Alozie
Owerri—A bill for a law to stop completely the practice of female genital mutilation yesterday passed second reading at the Imo State House of Assembly.
If passed into law , it was the opinion of the lawmakers that it will formally abolish such practices at the community level held by customs and traditions.
The bill was sponsored by Hon Ifeanyi Nnataronye representing Mbaitioli State constituency and 11 other lawmakers in the Imo State House of Assembly.
Part of the bill read: “From the commencement of this law, female genital mutilation is hereby prohibited,custom or tradition notwithstanding.
“Any person who knowingly separates or surgically alters the normal healthy functioning genital tissue of a female, mutilates, excises or infibulates the whole or any part of the labia majora or minora or clitoris of a female, shall be guilty of the offence of female genital mutilation.
“Any adult female who willingly submits herself for the performance of female genital mutilation as described in the subsection (1) of this section is guilty of the offence of female genital mutilation.
“No person shall assault or cause another to suffer a disability or discriminate against another on the ground that the other person refused to undergo female genital mutilation.“
Arguing in favour of the bill, the member representing Isu State Constituency, Hon Ngozi Obiefule, dismissed the conception that if a woman was not circumcised, he would be promiscuous.
She said: “The conception by some people that when you are not circumcised, you will be promiscuous is pure ignorance. It is just a misconception.
“You must train your children in the way that they must grow well. Teach them about peer pressure and let them know some of the disadvantages because they are your asset in life.
“Patients must remove the shame of discussing sex education with their children so that they do not become promiscuous in the future. “