12-Year-Old Ghanaian Bride Under Police Protection After Marriage To Priest

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A 12-year-old girl in Ghana is now under police protection after news of her marriage to a 63-year-old traditional high priest surfaced.

The customary wedding footage caused public outrage, although the priest’s office defended it as ceremonial.

While the legal marriage age in Ghana is 18, child marriage persists despite a decline in recent years.

Police say they have located the girl and placed her and her mother under protection.

Efforts are underway by government officials and the social welfare department to provide support to the girl during ongoing investigations.

The police’s action has garnered both praise and questions from the public, with some questioning why there have been no arrests.

The involved priest, Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII, is a respected spiritual leader in the Nungua area of Accra.

While he is known as a “Gborbu Wulomo” and performs various community roles, including traditional rites, civil society groups strongly criticize the marriage, considering the girl’s young age.

A recent study showed one in five young Ghanaian women aged between 20 and 24 years were married before the age of 18.

The Nungua community consists of Ga people residing along Ghana’s southeastern coast.

According to Ga tradition, the appointment of chiefs, high priests, and the wives of high priests is considered a spiritual process.

Certain families are tasked with nominating individuals to fulfill these roles.

In this instance, the 12-year-old girl hails from one of the families obligated to provide a bride for the high priest.

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While the family views it as an honor, typically, candidates selected for these positions are adults.

Melissa Enoch

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