On Wednesday, the Ekiti government, determined to implement its ‘Drop the Blade initiative’, disbursed N42 million to 170 women to stop female genital mutilation.
Each of the circumcisers received N250,000 to invest in other ventures.
Speaking at the event, the wife of the Ekiti governor, Bisi Fayemi, said the money was a grant for investment in other ventures.
Mrs Fayemi explained that the grant would not be refunded, indicating “we are empowering these women today so as to take them away from the illegal business.”
She added, “If what they were gaining from female circumcision is what is preventing them from leaving the job, we are ready to empower them.”
According to Mrs Fayemi, this will be the second time of empowering those engaging in female circumcision to discourage them from the old practice.
The governor’s wife expressed regret that the state was one of the top three states practising female genital mutilation, adding that all hands must be on deck to stop the menace.
Earlier, the commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mariam Ogunlade, reminded the beneficiaries that female circumcision is illegal, adding that anyone caught will be made to face legal action.
Ms Ogunlade, who reaffirmed the government’s zero-tolerance for FGM, called for stakeholders’ involvement in stamping out the practice in all communities across the state.
Also speaking, the director-general of Microfinance and Enterprise Development, Kayode Fasae, urged the grant beneficiaries not to engage in wasteful spending.
Stakeholders urged expectant mothers always to patronise government health facilities, adding that there is no benefit in female circumcision.