LBW

Monday, 23 March 2015

NIGERIAN TEENAGER IN UK DEPORTATION BATTLE!


Olayinka has made it clear that she would rather die in Britain than be deported to Nigeria and endure FGM and has previously attempted to take her own life.


The Vicar of Rochdale has leapt to the defence of a teenage girl parishioner who faces being deported to Nigeria where she fears she will have to undergo female genital mutilation.

An emergency meeting has now been called at St Chad’s Parish Church to help Olayinka Olatunde, who fled the country in 2010 with her family, to escape the procedure.

Olayinka is an acolyte at St Chad’s who carries the candle into church at services and helps the young children of the congregation.

Olayinka, 17, refuses to undergo FGM, an illegal practice in this country, but part of cultural tradition within her father’s family and tribe in Nigeria.

The family has continued to be threatened with deportation since arriving in the UK.

Olayinka has made it clear that she would rather die in Britain than be deported to Nigeria and endure FGM and has previously attempted to take her own life.

Vicar of Rochdale, the Rev Mark Coleman, said: “The purpose of the meeting is to support Olayinka who is a valued member of our church community and we are concerned that she is at risk of FGM.

“It is a cultural practice, which is illegal in the UK and many countries. I would want to see it outlawed and the practice end.

“We are supporting the campaign with RAPPAR and praying that she can stay.”

He added: “We are interested in rallying support for them and campaigning against FGM.

“Everyone is welcome to support Olayinka and her family, and learn about the issue. She’s not the only young woman at risk of this.”

Olayinka’s elder sister - her mother Abiola’s first child - died aged eight after being forced to undergo FGM.

Abiola was terrfified that the same thing would happen to Olayinka and she left her husband in 2003.

In 2009 just before her 13th birthday, Olayinka’s uncle sent some friends to forcibly remove her. But Olayinka resisted.

They attacked her and beat her brother who tried to help her.

She was hospitalised suffering permanent damage to both hands.

The church will be holding a public meeting to gain support for their campaign on Wednesday March 18 from 6.30pm until 8.30pm.

At the meeting Rev Coleman will speak alongside the family’s solicitor Gary McIndoe, as well as representatives from the National Union of Teachers and RAPPAR - Refugee and Asylum Seeker Participatory Action Research - a Manchester-based human rights organisation working with displaced people.

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