Traditional ruler of Umunna in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State, Okwarachukwu IV, Eze (Dr) Douglas Okwara, has said that the community is not aware of any law banning female genital mutilation (FGM) in the state.
Speaking on the backdrop of the campaign by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to end the unwholesome practice in the state, Okwara told Daily Trust that the practice was optional and members of the community had the choice to reject the practice.
The monarch who maintained that he’s not aware of such public announcement, nor had he heard of a law against it, added that since it’s a practice that he saw right from childhood, he’s neither in support or against it.
“This is a practice we grew up to and it has not been stopped by anybody. It is our Omenala (tradition) in Umunna. However, it’s up to individuals to either cut the genitals of their children or not. We have not stopped it and we don’t have the power to stop it. It’s not in my power to stop it because you can only take a horse to the river but cannot force it to drink water”
Commenting on the harmful side of the practice, Eze Okwara said that no negative effect of the practice had been reported to his palace, nor had anybody died from such practice.