Statements of such will definitely not please campaigners against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) commonly called ‘Bondo’ society in Sierra Leone.
First Lady of Sierra Leone Fatima Jabbie Bio, has been seen supporting FGM when she was interviewed by a Gambian journalist on Fatu Network in Gambia.
First lady who is always quick to make her views known did not mince her words when she stated her support for the practice.
“I am a circumcised woman. My other female siblings are all circumcised. I have given birth to 3 lovely kids successfully I believe there are more important issues like…rape,” Fatima Bio stated.
Following that interview, the first lady also put the statement on her facebook page in which she stated that they are the custodians of their culture and tradition.
“Some African Leaders are too timid to state what they truly believe. The law in Sierra Leone clearly states that our girls should be 18 before they decide what to do,” she maintained.
Adding that; “some organisations with absolute disregard for our traditions want circumcision completely outlawed… this is not colonial times, we have a responsibility to chart our own future.”
Her statement has actually created heated debate on both traditional and social media with some expressing huge shock on her statement while others are supporting her.
“Just finished watching the interview of Fatima Jabbie Bio on Fatu Network and I’m shocked to hear her position on FGM. According to her, she can’t really campaigned against FGM when she herself is circumcized …Just because she does not get complication, does that mean every other survivor’s story is the same. I love her to bits but I’m finding it difficult to digest this,” Fatou Badjie commented on the statement on the Office of the First Lady Facebook page.
Others said that the first lady is actually accusing the international community and at the same time describing African Leaders as timid just because she wants the circumcision practice to continue.
As swells of criticism mounted on her, her office came out with a statement which states, “the first lady of Sierra Leone has proposed that the tradition continues with the circumcision part of the ceremony left out.”
The new statement is actually seen by many as a damage control mechanism by the office of the first lady.