By: Princess Joy
Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is the ritual cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. The practice is found in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and within communities from countries in which FGM is common.
In Nigeria Female genital mutilation (FGM) is been the practice in our communities, this is why Blessing from Edo State is calling on Nigerians to come to her aid.
Little did you know that many communities are still practicing female genital mutilation today, in this report is a time in the world when cases are rife of oppressive and discriminatory tendencies against women and the world waking up to sustainable decisive measures against such, it must have come as a rude shock to beautiful Blessing Isoken who hails from Edo State that her own lover, with whom she had gone through a whole lot with would come out to suggest that she performs a female circumcision exercise at the delicate state of pregnancy.
The story did not actually begin here follow us to know how it all started.
Blessing is from a home that describes her upbringing. She grew up with her parent and the burden of her education became pronounced as she embarked on her university education. It was very tough enough to provide for food, shelter and other sundry needs of the family such that taking care of her university demands were out of reach for her father.
This strain was augmented by the fact that Mr. Osagie has known one chief Iyamu who was his childhood friend of many years, Mr. Osagie’s family condition that he could not fend for his family needs to be offered to help him with a loan wherewithal to redeem so many commitment because the situation was becoming worrisome and embarrassing for him and his family.
Mr. Osagie’s rescue came when his childhood wealthy friend with a measure of clout, he decided to put a smile on his face by giving him the loan to pay back on a particular date so he can sort out so many things like his daughter Blessing who then dropped out from university to be able to go back.
This must have sounded like good music in the ears of Mr. Osagie who until that moment was at a loss as to how to wriggle his way out of the financial knot, not knowing that Chief Iyamu however, would only display such benevolence on one condition. And what was the condition? He secretly wants to marry Blessing when she is done with her university education as a befitting compensation for his kindness.
Mr. Osagie not having knowledge of chief Iyamu’s plans fell into his trap by accepting the help thinking it was free for their friendship’s sake. With the help of chief Iyamu, Blessing went back to school and successfully finished her university education.
The chief who had patiently waited to bid time like a lion had confidence that it will prey by the jugular, he went to Mr. Osagie demanded him to pays back the loan by giving out Blessing to him in marriage, which at a point cause a lot of disagreement between him and Mr. Osagie.
Blessing got furious and disappointed at her father for having accepted the idea by Chief Iyama. Because he does not have money to pay back his loan even without her consent or knowledge. She had a budding relationship with a guy named Aberiri Mofe, and on relating the whole ordeal to him, they decided to elope, as she would rather die than having her father’s age mate marry her.
This time Blessing and her boyfriend travelled to Turkey where they found a measure of peace, having left the problem of Chief Iyamu behind, but that peace became transient in the height of their preparation to plan a future for themselves
Afterward, the boyfriend planned and gave her money to come back to Nigeria to settle chief Iyama, but her father Mr. Osagie rejected the money saying that there is nothing he can do that chief Iyama had already paid the bride price her father insisted she must marry him. Along the line Blessing found out she was pregnant and quickly called Mofe her boyfriend for the good news. Though Mofe was happy, things got twisted when Mofe told her about the circumcision that she had to undergo before putting to bed. Because female circumcision is an age long tradition his people values and holds very important.
Apparently, in a dilemma, Blessing’s mind was in turmoil as she tried to brace up with the reality of what Mofe told her, not feeling comfortable with it one bit. Luckily for her, she opened up to a friend about it who dissuaded her in strong terms from such a practice.
Blessing’s friend was only light than in a dark tunnel and as they kept discussing, she sold the idea of her to travel to as an escape to all the rubbish her life seemed mired in, she made up her and ran with the money given to her by her boyfriend to settle the supposed debt collect from chief by the father to Canada where she finally found rest from all the troubles that threatened to swallow her.
But as we speak the boyfriend has been causing a lot of troubles going to fight the Blessing’s father saying since she did not perform the traditional rite during pregnancy the daughter given birth to in Canada will have to be brought to perform it so he is trying every means to make sure the innocent daughter comes down to Nigeria for the traditional rites.
As we speak Nigeria is a danger zone for both mother and daughter. So many questions than answers surely this piece would elicit; what choice else did the father have? Isn’t the lasciviousness of Chief Iyamu characteristic of the wealthy few in the midst of the many poor? Why did her fiancé stoop so low to the whims of such barbaric tradition?
So many questions but succinctly portrays the audacity of desire and the folly of traditional beliefs in the 21st century. It may not be out of place to also say that such is the fate of many young girls in our society today with no voice for them and none to give a helping hand.