“Education is the key in eradicating FGM”, Radio callers pursue the same questions in Abakaliki, Nigeria

By Dr. Wilberforce Oti,

Dr. Wilberforce Oti an anti-FGM campaigner, shares his recent radio panel question and answer session on Salt FM radio Abakaliki, Nigeria.  

Project Title: “Don’t Cut Your Girl Child!”

Resource Persons (Radio Panelist):  

  • Professor Henry Uro-Chukwu- Professor of Medicine
  • Dr. Wilberforce Oti- Religious Leader and end-FGM Activist
  • Blossom Emmanuel- end-FGM Activist (Survivor)
  • Emenike Obeleagu Media Activist

The program started with a brief meeting to discuss the topic before going on air to discuss it. At 11.00 am. We were ushered into the radio station. Emenike Obeleagu moderated the one-hour phone-in program. The following questions were asked to different participants.

Caller questions:

  1. What is FGM in a layman’s sense and what are immediate and distant adverse effects of FGM on a girl child?.. This was explained by Prof Henry from a medical point of view
  2. From a Survivors point of view, what are the practical experience of an FGM survivor, psychologically, physically, mentally, and maritally? This was answered by Blossom Emmanuel
  3. What is written in the Bible and other religious scriptures concerning FGM? Does God approve the practice in His Holy book? This was explained by Dr. Wilberforce Oti
  4. What has been done to abolish the practice of FGM in Nigeria and what are measures churches and mosques can apply to mitigate FGM in Nigeria? This was also explained by Dr. Wilberforce Oti
  5. What are the roles our government, royal traditional rulers, religious bodies such as the churches, schools, birth attendants and midwives, etc should play to end FGM? These were generally discussed.

After 40 minutes, the phone line was opened and calls began to come in. We received a total of 12 calls within the program, even though after the radio program the calls kept coming. A caller encouraged us to keep holding such educational programs regularly until many people buy into our advocacy. Another caller encouraged us to use the local dialect so that many elderly people, especially the illiterates will benefit from the program. Another called to ask if there is any benefit of FGM in the area of curbing promiscuity amongst young girls.

What is New?

The panelist all agreed that effort must be made to introduce end FGM as a subject in our school curriculum so that we can thoroughly inform the pupils about FGM and being future parents they will not carry it out on their children in the future.

Challenges:

  • We would have received more feedbacks if the program lasted for up to 120 minutes
  • Due to the season of Easter, the movement of people was more rapid and hence a repeat broadcast would have been worthwhile. 

Ruth Harley

Ruth is an opera singer collaborating with women in Kenya using indigenous music to end FGM. She is compiling stories written by End FGM campaigners working with the Global Media Campaign to End FGM.