CALLS FOR ARREST OF PRIEST, 63, WHO MARRIED A 12-YR-OLD GIRL . . . Legal minimum age to get married is 18

ACCRA. — THERE are calls for the arrest of an influential traditional priest, 63, who has sparked an outrage in Ghana after marrying a 12-year-old girl.

The priest, Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII, married her in a customary ceremony held on Saturday.

However, there is also strong support from community leaders have said people do not understand their customs and tradition.

The legal minimum age to get married in Ghana is 18 and the prevalence of child marriage has declined, but it continues to happen.

For the past 24 hours now, Ghanaians have called for the prosecution of Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII for marrying a minor.

Meanwhile, reacting to the calls for prosecution, the Gborbu Wulomo shrine has maintained that the minor has been designated to attend to one of the 99 deities of the Ga-Adangbe group, which necessitates her being a virgin reason behind her young marriage.

Nii Bortey Kofi Frankwa II, who is also a spokesperson for the shrine has also told newsmen:

“When somebody makes such a call it comes from a point of ignorance. Because first, you need to come closer and ask so that you will appreciate what it is but not take hook line, and sinker what is being said.

“Because it goes beyond what is being preached out there. It is deeper than what is being preached. It is deeper for our spirituality.”

According to the global campaigning NGO Girls Not Brides, 19 percent of girls in the country are married before they reach 18 and 5 percent get married before their 15th birthday.

The MP for Madina, Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu, has petitioned the director general of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service for the arrest, investigation and prosecution of the Gborbu Wulomo, Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII.

The petition, dated April 2, comes after videos and pictures of the customary wedding ceremony between the girl and the priest on Saturday, went viral on social media, angering a cross-section of Ghanaians.

According to Sosu, the conduct of the Wulomo “constitute a breach of both local and international laws on child care and protection and the said conduct is criminal.”

During the ceremony, women speaking in the local language Ga told the girl to dress teasingly for her husband.

They can also be heard advising her to be prepared for wifely duties and to use the perfumes they gifted her to boost her sexual appeal to her husband.

The statements fuelled the outrage, as they have been perceived to mean that the marriage was not merely ceremonial. — BBC.

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