Ghana: 63-year-old Christian priest’s marriage to a 12-year-old girl sparks outrage

A significant controversy has arisen following the marriage of a 63-year-old Christian priest to a 12-year-old girl in Ghana through a traditional ceremony. Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII, a spiritual leader in the Nungua area of Accra, the capital, tied the knot with the unnamed child in a grand ceremony on Saturday. Mr Tsuru, known as a “Gborbu Wulomo,” or traditional high priest, holds considerable spiritual authority within the Nungua indigenous community.

This event is particularly contentious as the legal minimum age for marriage in Ghana is 18 years old.

Pictures from the wedding ceremony, attended by numerous community members, depict the young girl in a simple white dress adorned with a matching headpiece. During the proceedings, a woman speaking the local language Ga reportedly advised the girl to dress attractively for her husband. Additionally, they were heard instructing her to prepare for wifely duties and to use the perfumes they had given her to enhance her appeal to her husband.

The release of these photos prompted widespread public outrage among many Ghanaians, who emphasised the illegality of such practices. Critics have called for authorities to annul the marriage and launch an investigation into the priest.

Despite the criticism, several community leaders have defended the union, asserting that outsiders do not comprehend their customs and traditions. On Sunday, Nii Bortey Kofi Frankwa II, a local community leader, stated that the girl’s role as the priest’s wife is “purely tradition and custom.”

He elaborated that the girl had begun the necessary rituals to become the priest’s wife at six, which did not impede her education. Reports suggest that the girl must undergo a second customary ceremony to prepare her for marital duties, including childbearing.

However, the police have located and secured the girl, who is now under their protection along with her mother. The Ghanaian government has not yet issued a response to the controversial marriage.

Girls Not Brides, a renowned global NGO, reports that a significant percentage of girls in Ghana marry before reaching adulthood.

Source: OpIndia

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