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Nigerians protest ambassadorís FGM denials

category dublin | gender and sexuality | news report author Thursday April 09, 2009 21:02author by Sparkyauthor email sparky_dublin at yahoo dot ie Report this post to the editors

Claims by the Nigerian ambassador that female genital mutilation (FGM) is a Ďnon-existantí issue in her country were denounced by a lively, lunchtime protest held today outside the embassy in Ballsbridge and attended by around 35 Nigerians.
Protesters tell the ambassador 'Stop FGM lies'
Protesters tell the ambassador 'Stop FGM lies'

Dr Kema Chikwe had made the assertions on RTE's 'Would You Believe' (video link below) despite being confronted with data that the practice of FGM remains widespread. Chikwe brushed aside statistics not just from Amnesty International but Nigeriaís own submissions to the UN, which give an average 32% prevalence for FGM, rising to 65% in some parts of the country.

Protesters argued that Chikweís intervention in the high-profile Pamela Izevbekhai asylum case was utterly lacking in credibility and brought discredit on Nigeria.

Uche Odinukwe of Cork Anti-Racism Network commented: ďThe Irish government should know she is not representing usÖ She should take back her words. Amnesty has a figure, the Ministry of Womenís Affairs has a figure and she is saying FGM does not exist.Ē

Half an hour into the protest, staff at the embassy offered two representatives a private meeting with the ambassador to raise their concerns. However, protesters refused and demanded that Chikwe should could come out and address the full group.

The ambassador never appeared but she could not have missed the protesters' clear message: they closed the rally with several rousing choruses of: ďAll we are saying is Chikwe must go.Ē

VIDEO - footage begins with Uche Odinukwe, of Cork Anti-Racism Network, explaining the feelings behind the protest.

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/tv/wouldyoubelieve

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video

author by Sparkypublication date Thu Apr 09, 2009 21:08author email sparky_dublin at yahoo dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Additional images of today's protest



author by lulupublication date Thu Apr 09, 2009 22:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think we can believe the World Health Organisation & Amnesty International on this one; there are also organisations in Africa working to eliminate this horrendous practice.

author by theresa - Cork Anti-Racism Networkpublication date Fri Apr 10, 2009 00:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

it's a pity that kema who is suppossed to be the nigerians shephard has turned into the judas of our time, just because of her selfish interests. As a proud nigerian, i am highly disappointed and ashamed to call her my leader. She should learn from others on how leaders should comport themselves. She should stop washing her dirty linens in public.

author by lulupublication date Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Amnesty's webpage had a link to FGM information, and petition to stop this horrendous practice.

author by Yomipublication date Sat Apr 11, 2009 19:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

By denying that Female Circumcision does not exist in Nigeria the ambassador is not demonising Pamela Izevbekhai she is only showing the unwillingnes of the Nigerian Authorities to Stop the practise. Denial of reality is terribly dangerous. It prevents timely responses to trouble, clouds our vision, eventually weakens us at the moment of true trial and wreaks havoc with our lives.

author by Bazooka Joepublication date Sun Apr 12, 2009 15:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think this YouTube video shows us the sort of superstitious pagan/traditional women who do this to young girls.


Female circumcision is driven totally by superstition and ignorance. The Nigerian government should take strong action against the women who carry on this ancient practice but the reason they don't may be to do with the extent of the ancient roots of indigenous superstitious beliefs in that country. Christian and Islamic missionaries who work in Nigeria know only too well how hard the traditional practices designed to ward off malevolent sorcery and witchcraft are to eradicate. The Nigerian government is no less susceptible to the pull of this Vodoo.


Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video

author by Tina - Studentpublication date Tue Apr 14, 2009 02:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its unfortunate that after Kema's tenure as an aviaton minister in Nigeria where she had no strategies and ideas, the Nigerian govt deemed it fit to send her to Ireland.Other ambassadors protect their people in foreign lands but hers is to give interviews without facts and figures.She has not said anything about getting foreign investors into nigeria but instead is muddying the nigerian image which she swore as an ambassador to protect and uphold.FGM is an african tradition which is so entrenched that it will take decades and a lot of education to eradicate. Can she say she is not aware of 13 year old girls being married off in Northern Nigeria and developing VVF as a result of having kids at that age. There are so many traditions which Nigerians hold on to which will shock the world to know that even the literate still subscribe to. For instance i come from a place where snakes are not killed, doing so is believed to be detrimental to your family.This shows that Nigerian still hold on to the archaic belief that Female Circumcision makes a woman less promiscious

author by Joepublication date Sat May 30, 2009 12:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The role of any government all over the world is to protect its citizens and this becomes even more important where such citizens are in a foreign country. The position of Kema/Obasanjo, her( "father" etc) on the FGM issue and others as affects Nigerians living in Ireland is a reflection of the sorry state of our Nation. At times one is left to wonder if it is a mistake being a Nigerian or what do you say where an ambassador has labelled her own country a fraud.

Can our honourable ambassador submit herself to FGM check?

Can the hospitals in Ireland collate and publish how many Nigerian women have not been mutilated based on the number of child births recorded in this country?

author by chidi - studentpublication date Tue Jun 23, 2009 22:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am not suprised at chikwe statement, she is one of those polticians
who with lies and back doors find their ways to getting political appointments
inother to defraud the government,
She should be questioned for this babaric act of hers, I just want her to
know that a house divided against itself can never stand.
She is the kind of rulers we have over there. pls learn to represent your
country or put up your resignation before those who sent you here.
please we,ve had enough from you and your colleagues

author by alice - nonepublication date Tue Jun 30, 2009 22:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

kema is behaving true to type. we are not suprised that she has carried her fraudulent behaviour to Ireland.you can now uderstand why she had to be banished to Ireland in the name of ambassadorial position. since she left there has been peace in her marital home, her kindred, village,local govt,state,and the country.PLEASE manage her, remember her in your daily prayers. we do not want her back.

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