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FGM: Female circumcision can lead to death – Health expert warn parents

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Parents and guardians have been advised to desist from subjecting their female children to circumcised as this could lead to death.

This is as Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

Giving the advice in a phone chat with NEWSMEN on Tuesday in Osogbo, a Family Physician and anti-FGM advocate, Folashade Akinola warned that engaging in the practice is tantamount to mutilating their children and causing them trauma.

Akinola, while emphasising that the end repercussions of FGM is death, added that ignorance and negative culture have continued to fuel FGM in the country.

She said, “FGM is not good. It is not healthy for the girl child. Unknowingly to those still practising it, it usually results in death.”

She disclosed that the practice carries some harmful side effects which may lead lifelong damages for the girls, low self esteem and in some instances death.

“Lack or loss of sexual desire on the part of the woman is one of these. Without knowing the male partner may be blaming the woman for not being responsive during sexual intercourse without knowing the reason behind the coldness or lack of desire on the part of the woman.

“Prolonged obstructional labour may be a side effect of FGM. This is when the woman finds it hard to give birth during labour. This occurred because the clitoris and some part of the vaginal opening had been cut off during the female circumcision and when it healed, it left only a small opening which has become impossible for the coming baby to pass through.

“Death may occur as a result of excessive bleeding.”

Akinola also revealed that as a result of intensive advocacy, the prevalence of FGM in Osun State which used to be the highest in the Southwest has dropped from 77.6 percent to 45.9 percent.

“This drop in prevalence was achieved through massive sensitisation programmes, advocacy visits to traditional rulers and religious leaders.

“These visits in no small measure were able to reduce the level of ignorance among the population which were mostly in the rural areas.

“We were even shocked to discover that some of our elites in the state still practised circumcision for the female children.

“What they do is they take their babies to these people in the rural areas who carry out these acts on their daughters and bring them to the town to recover.”

Akinola while commending the state government and stakeholders for their efforts in combating FGM added that the state Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and Health have been in the forefront in the campaign against the eradication of the FGM malaise.

The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is held annually on February 6 and the theme of the year 2024 edition is: Her Voice. Her Future.

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Gov. Fubara directs LG Heads of administration to oversee councils

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Gov. Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers, on Tuesday, directed the Heads of Local Government Administration (HLGAS) to immediately take charge of their councils.
He said this followed the expiration of the tenure of the 23 local government chairmen on June, 17.
Fubara gave the directive in a statewide broadcast at Government House in Port Harcourt.
He commended the dedicated services of the outgoing elected local government chairmen and councillors whose tenure expired after three years of service.
The governor, on behalf of the state, thanked them for their commitment in serving the state.
Fubara congratulated them on the completion of their tenure and wished them well in their future endeavours.
The governor said that he would continue to provide leadership and direction to the people, to ensure that the constitution of the federal republic was upheld, and  law and order maintained.
“I hereby direct heads of local government administration to continue to provide leadership in their respective LGAs,”he said.
He directed the heads of LGAs to immediately take charge of the councils with renewed vigor and readiness to serve.
Fubara urged them to wait for other directives as the state navigated toward greater accomplishments.
He assured Rivers people that his administration would continue to provide infrastructure development, sound health care delivery,  quality education and undiluted welfare service packages to the people.
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Over-ambition fueling coups d’etat in Africa – UNDP

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By Austine Emmanuel, Kaduna

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has identified lack of core value and over-ambition of young military officers who do not want to wait for their turn as the major causes of coups d’état in Africa.

The UNDP Team Lead, Governance, Peace and Security, Matthew Alao, said this in an interview with newsmen after the Graduation Ceremony of the Leadership and National Cohesion Course at Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre, in Jaji, Kaduna State.

He said that though the military cannot be divorced from the society where it situates, but over-ambition by young military officers, eroding core societal values, religious beliefs, and lack of education are the key reasons for more coups in West African countries and Africa at large.

Alao who noted that then fundamental problem the world is facing today is the lack of core values, said this resulted to persistent coups and counter-coups staged in Africa by military officers.

“Our core values are fast breaking down. You will see agitation and expectation on so many issues that may not be reality.

“Most people don’t go to school. Some do go to school but do not have employable skills. This contributes to what is happening.

And because the military cannot be divorced from the society where it situates, they also feel part of that agitation. When that cry is going on, it speculates and overshadows the event. I think that is one of the reasons for coups.

“Then, maybe over-ambition by the young officers. They don’t want to wait for their turn. The idea of young people wanting to be there is another cause of coups.

“Young people need to learn. Because if young people don’t learn, we continue to somersault. After all, this country was ruled by 27-year-olds. At a point they delivered, but they didn’t deliver well. If the military of those days had the necessary experience and requisite vision when Nigeria was still in the morning, they would have planned our future and laid the foundation and we wouldn’t be where we are today. We wouldn’t be clamoring for roads, infrastructure, and all that.

Suppose the people that found this country, like Chief Obafemi Awolowo, were able to do something up to the late 80s, Nigeria would have been better than this. The situation we are now is dangerous.

“In those days, Ibadan was flourishing, Kaduna was a hub, Lagos was a factory ground, but within a blink of an eye under the Structural Adjustment Program, everything collapsed.”

He expressed concern that this leadership deficit was taking a toll on the country and should be addressed right from the family unit to the community level

Alao described Nigeria today as very individualistic, saying, “We have lost it. Now it’s all about I and my family. And this is leading us nowhere. This is why this course is very critical at this moment.”

”Leadership start with us as parent that brings little children to this world. Leadership starts from grassroots.

”Unfortunately, we have lost it. Nigeria today is very individualistic. It’s all about i and my family. And this is leading us to no where. This is why this course is very critical at this moment.

”If nothing is done to address the leadership deficit from the family unit, from the community unit and community level, we are not going anywhere. Money can not save our society.”

He said the leadership course, which happened to be the brainchild of the past Commandant of the Peacekeeping Centre, Major General Obinna, was born due to the spate of coups happening in West Africa.

“They felt that providing leadership training to the middle-level military and civilians is an antidote to it.

”They felt that because that quality training, that orientation on subordination is weakening in the military and political space of West Africa. They felt that UNDP, with the funding made available by the government of Japan, is sponsoring it,” Alao added.

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Eid-ul-Adha: NSCDC charges personnel to focus on protection of critical national assets

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By Omolola Dede Adeyanju

Following the Federal Government’s declaration of Monday, 17th and Tuesday, 18th June, 2024 as public holidays to mark this year’s Eid-ul-Adha celebration, the State Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps ( NSCDC ), Lagos State Command, Mr Adedotun Keshinro has deployed more officers and men for the protection of national assets.

This was related through a press release signed by the PRO, NSCDC, Lagos State Command, DSC Oluwaseun Abolurin. According to him, “The Lagos State Commandant has immediately deployed personnel to protect transmission lines and towers in the state, following the express directive issued, by the Honourable Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji – Ojo to the Corps, during the passing out parade of the second ( 2nd ) batch of mining marshals at Abuja on Friday.”

He said that Eid-ul-Adha is the latter of the two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year and It honours the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon Him) to sacrifice his son, Ismail as an act of obedience to God’s command.

“The officers and men deployed for this assignment were drawn from various departments, units, area commands, divisions, points, and other relevant formations of the command across the state.”

The commandant further said, “This deployment is also aimed at ensuring the effective protection of all our critical national assets and infrastructure; transmission lines and towers, oil and gas pipelines, power installations, telecommunications, railway systems, road, water resources, government buildings, hospitals, schools and many more across the state while the celebration progresses.”

He seized the opportunity to felicitate the Muslim Ummah and sued for peace, sacrifice , kindness, love and unity amongst citizens across the state as exemplified by the aforementioned Prophet above.

However, the Lagos State commandant also warned against all criminal elements, particularly vandals, to desist from their evil and disastrous acts of economic sabotage or be ready to face the full wrath of the law.

“We will not go to bed during the holidays but rather remain fervent and committed to the corps’ mandates and statutory functions, as embedded in the act establishing our dear service, standard operating procedures, code of conduct and guidelines and other extant laws,” he added.

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