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Osinbajo advocates legislation against Female Genital Mutilation

Osinbajo expressed this view during an interaction with a team from Pearls Africa Foundation on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa.

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Nigeria's Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, pictured March 2017, ordered the dismissal of the DSS chief for the "unauthorised takeover" of the National Assembly, describing it as "a gross violation of constitutional order" play Osinbajo advocates legislation against Female Genital Mutilation (AFP/File)

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, says there is  need for states with high prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to legislate against the practice.

Osinbajo expressed this view during an interaction with a team from Pearls Africa Foundation on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa.

Pearls Africa Foundation is a Lagos-based social enterprise that promotes the cause and advancement of young girls and women using technology.

The three girls in the team - Okpose Ayajenu, Mariam Matti and Moriat Alade, all built tech-based project/ websites through which they tried to solve already identified problems of their societies.

Their respective projects are Makoko Fresh App, built by Ayajenu to connect fishermen and lovers of seafood, Hope Basket, by Matti to connect beggars and donors and Break the Blade Website, built by Alade to stop FGM.

The vice-president said that what the girls were doing was innovative and should be encouraged.

Ordinarily it should be a crime to practice FGM, I think one of the things you should do is to write the state Houses of Assembly; and ask them to pass laws making it a crime punishable by a prison term to practice FGM.

“That is one of the quickest means of bringing peoples’ attention to the issue, the advocacy is good but it will be better if the states pass laws, these things are within the jurisdiction of state governments.

“This is very innovative; it is encouraging to see young girls, who are very sharp, very innovative, it requires commitment and a lot of hard work.

“Sometimes you might find you are not getting as much attraction as you want within the period that you wanted, so you really need to be devoted over a long time, you need to be focused. People want to see that you are there.

“For the Hope Basket, I do not know  how you are going to store the things; that is a challenge, you also need a standard for some of the things people might give, people can just come and dump some rags,’’ he said.

Earlier, Mrs Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin, Founder, Pearls Africa Foundation, said that the essence of the visit was to intimate the vice president with the activities of the foundation.

She said that the foundation promoted various initiatives for girls and women, citing `Girls Coding’ where girls were taught computer programming to enable them identify problems in their immediate environment and provide solutions to them.

“For instance, the three girls are team leaders of different projects.

“When they identify these problems, we merge them based on common interests.

“For instance the Makoko Fresh App sold over N200, 000 in less than two months, connecting buyers and sellers of seafood,’’ she said.

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