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Outrage as 63-Year-Old Ghanaian Religious Leader Weds 12-Year-Old Girl

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An influential traditional priest in his 60s in Ghana has sparked outrage by marrying a 12-year-old girl. Even in a region where early marriages are relatively common, voices of criticism are growing.

According to foreign media, such as the New York Post, on the 3rd (local time), on the 30th of last month, Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru (63), a spiritual leader in the Nungua area of the capital, Accra, married a 12-year-old girl from the same community. In Ghana, the legal minimum age to get married is 18, yet he married a girl six years younger.

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The wedding scene was shared through local news channels. The young bride is dressed in a simple white dress and matching hair accessories. The groom places a green floral wreath on the bride’s head.

The spread of the wedding video on social media has ignited controversy.

This is because the video included content implying sexual relations between the two. In the video, some of the guests told the 12-year-old bride to “dress teasingly for her husband” and “use perfume to enhance your sexual appearance,” triggering an outcry.

Leaders of the Nungua indigenous community, to which both the girl and the priest belong, have condemned the public’s opposition to the marriage, saying the criticism “comes from the point of ignorance.”

One leader claimed, “The girl’s role is to follow tradition and custom,” and “the girl started the rites to become the priest’s wife six years ago, but the process did not interfere with her education.” They added, “The girl also has plans to give birth.”

The legal minimum age to get married in Ghana is 18, but the custom of child marriage continues to happen. According to the global campaigning NGO Girls Not Brides,’ 19% of girls in the country are married before they reach 18, and 5% get married before their 15th birthday.

Locally, there are calls to arrest those who planned this marriage, including the high priest.

The girl is currently in police protection with her mother.

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