TRAVAILS OF FUNMILOLA, A MOTHER OF THREE; FOR HER PRINCIPLED POSITION AGAINST HER IN-LAW INHERITED TRADITIONAL PRACTICE OF FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

TRAVAILS OF FUNMILOLA, A MOTHER OF THREE; FOR HER PRINCIPLED POSITION AGAINST HER IN-LAW INHERITED TRADITIONAL PRACTICE OF FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION

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World Health Organization, WHO, defined Female Genital Mutilation as all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organ for non-medical reasons. Most times, instruments used are crude and unsterilized, thereby endangering the girl's or women’s health.


In 2003, the United Nations (UN) introduced the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the essence is to beam the Searchlight of the world to FGM and strengthen the Strategize on the best way to eradicate this menace and archaic practice.

Certainly, FGM is a Universal problem.While this archaic Cultural and Traditional practice continues within some Communities within some developing Nations,globally, Africa and Nigeria most significantly has some of the highest prevalent number of Victims.

There is no doubt that Girls and Women who went through the excruciating experience of FGM are often subjected to Psychological, Physiological, Mental, Social, Emotional trauma which sometimes lead to Menstrual Problems,Painful urination, Genital tissue swelling, Shock, Human immuno deficiency virus (HIV) and other consequences arising from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression.

In Nigeria, during the Sub-Zonal media briefing in Commemoration of the 2019 International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM organised by Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) in Collaboration with the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) as part of the UN's effort to eradicate FGM in the Country, Dr Ibrahim Conteh, UNICEF Chief of Field, Enugu stated that Nigeria ranks Third highest among Countries practising FGM Globally.

Simultaneously, of Serious concerns in Nigeria are Government policies, laws, enacted against Female Genital Mutilation and Circumcisions in about 13 States of the Federation that appears slow in approach and theoretical on paperwork based on implementation without any measurable proactive impact. More so that no single culprit has been arraigned and Prosecuted till date.

An example of such State in Nigeria is Ekiti State, despite enacting law to prohibit FGM in 2002 titled Female Circumcisions Prohibition law stating that "No person shall circumcise or mutilate the Genital organ of any Female Child whether or not her Consent is obtained".

 Funmilola Omowaye (nee Julius), a Christian born to an indigenous family in Owo town ,Ondo State who got married to Omowaye Olatunji a native of Ido-Ile Ekiti on October 18th, 2008 but now Divorced due to irreconcilable difference arising from intimidation and threat to life because of her unyielding principles that non of her Female Children would she allowed to be subjected to any unethical practice of FGM and Incisions by her in-law who had insisted that no amount of persuasion or Faithful beliefs would deter them from carrying out their long standing traditional and Cultural beliefs of their family (a traditional rites that must be carried out before they attained the age of 10).

It was gathered through investigation that every female children born into her in laws family were made to undergo or go through traditional Incisions and FGM for Cultural and Customary practice best known to them and she was specifically told by her husband in March 2014 that the first and second born shall be subjected to this traditional rites before they clock 10years.

The story of this mother of three whose First and Second Born are Female, Ayomide and Ayomiposi both born on March 14th, 2009 and December 1st, 2010 would continually be an inspiration for Womanhood as this Amazon survived the agonising and traumatizing threatening travails and experience of her In-laws barbaric inherited traditional practice leading to attempted failed Kidnapping and food poisoning.

On June, 2015, there was a failed Kidnapping attempt against her by a group of Strange men in Akure, Ondo State through a tinted cream coloured Toyota Camry car but Coincidentally was saved by the presence of Nigeria Police on patrol but no specific arrest was made while she was subsequently advised to be Security conscious of her movement and environment since the police could not guaranteed 24hrs round the Clock Security protection in view of the limited number of personnel at the Station and Area command office.

Few months later, on October 28th, 2015 as confirmed she was admitted to Inland Medical Centre, Ikare, Ondo State having ate a poisoned meal prepared by One Folake Omowaye, her husband sister (who it was learnt was forced by the family on her matrimonial home). It was Subsequently confirmed after diagnosis and series of test that she was actually poisoned in an attempt to take her life but she survived through the Divine Grace of God and her Faith in God. 

The reckless attitude and attempt to exterminate Funmilola at all cost as exhibited in the conduct of her In-laws also redefines the desperate act of this perpetrators of Traditional practice involved in the at all cost assignment aimed at executing this unholy act against the Fundamental Human Rights of their targets. 


Saddening, sickening and sorrowful was the tribulations,troubles, trials and temptation Mrs Omowaye has gone through. According to findings, little did she know that she got married to a man whose beliefs and faith was in absolute contradiction to her Personal Belief and Christian faith .


Consequent upon this , having learnt that the Witchcraft and Diabolical power inherent in her In-laws households was so enormous couples with the constant physical and psychological battles her husband households always subject her too,Funmilola had one time and the other moved from Isua to Ikare to Akure to Live with trusted family and friends seeking for her children's safety since she could  no longer underrate the known and unknown forces around her.

Her action could be likened to how a hen jealously guard it's chicken against any possible threat or attacks more Importantly when her former husband suddenly became the arrowhead of assault of several Marital aberration against her several Contemptual refusal and principled positions as it relates to the FGM matter.


It was also gathered that one of her in-laws who belong to a highly connected Cult-like Cabal Confraternity group with a strong  network in Nigeria had several times threatened to kill her for not being on the same page with her family Cultural heritage and ancestral practice.

Having being surviving through the support provided by Mission Arlington Charity, It is worthy to note that in an effort to rediscover her happiness and joy having relocated to United States in 2016 through the collective efforts of Family and Friends.She got remarried to a Black American, Kenneth Thompson who she later discovered things were not going as planned and was a Criminal on Parole  and subsequently made her a single mother again with no husband to take Good care of her and the children.

Worrisome as at today in Nigeria is that the insecurity and crime rate situation is becoming alarming and unpredictable as recently confirmed by President Muhammadu Buhari, Commander in chief of the Nigeria armed forces and of worthy note was the recent travel warnings issued by the United States to her Citizens not to travel to many parts of Nigeria (Specifically 14 States within the Nation) due to threat bordering on act of Terrorism, Kidnapping,Ritual killings,Civil unrest,Maritime Crime and so on. 


There are Several Nigeria Citizens in various Communities going through what Omowaye Funmilola had experienced.But any individual going through this life threatening experience should be safeguarded and protected by law whenever they are exposed to this Vulnerable situations. To underestimate the Diabolical and Voodoo's power of traditionalists in Nigeria must be at one's Risk


As at this moment, Female Genital Mutilation according to recently released report by UNICEF in Nigeria, Ekiti State Prevalence is on the increase and has reached an alarming rate of 72 percent.The Puzzle that must be unraveled is the Continual practice of this Uncultured cultural practices without due respect to the law of the land and the fundamental human Rights of their Victims.

Experience and Lessons of life based on the Continual actions of this Traditional practitioner as reflected in their understanding had led to a realistic conclusion that,what isTraditional may not be Legal; what is Legally defined may not be Morally Right and What is deemed Morally Right,may not be Spiritually Upright.

Traditional Culture inherited in Africa despite emerging Civilisation and Globalization are always in Conflict with the later notwithstanding the level of Development in Education,beliefs and modernisation within the Communities of some African Countries.

This conflicts many attimes negatively affects and Clash with Personal,Social,Family, Career philosophy and Lifestyle expectations leading to inflicting Sustainable Fears and psychological trauma on the mindset of the Victims.

Sometimes it is better imagined than undergoing this harrowing,heartbreaking and agonising experience based on the implications of this Evil tendencies and Devilish act of many of this unrepentant traditionalists found in many Africa Communities and families.

There is no doubt the fact that inherited Culture and Traditions of Circumcisions and Genital Mutilation has destroyed personal and family fabrics and beliefs in Nigeria despite multi-level Stakeholders commitment on the part of International organisations and National Agencies. 

It is now imperative that Government Projects,Policies and Programs in Collaboration with relevant Stakeholders should aggressively address this monsters of traditional practice and Cultural cankerworm that has been Threatening the Fundamental human Rights of innocent Children and the Child Rights Act.

Simultaneously, it is high time a Specific Agency is established primarily to tackle and intervened in any reported cases and possibly prosecute such individual,family or traditional practitioner found culpable as a deterrent to any other family who intend to continue this ignoble Cultural and Traditional practice.

More so , a Community and Citizens Driven Advocacy would go a long way in ameliorating this barbaric, Diabolical and archaic traditional Cultural practice through Constant Education, Enlightenment