Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

A child bride in Ghana who was married to a 63-year-old traditional priest is 15 and not 12 as earlier reported, the country’s Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister has said.

“My latest information, which you obviously have, is that she is almost 16…July somewhere she will be 16,” Minister Stephen Asamoah Boateng said in an interview with Ghanaian radio station Citi FM on Tuesday.

Mr Boateng added that although the girl was older than initially reported, she was still a minor and his ministry would work with other agencies to protect her rights.

The chief of Nungua traditional area, where the ceremony was held, told Citi FM that the girl was 13.

In Ghana it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to get married.

Public outrage erupted after footage of Saturday’s customary wedding was shared on social media.

On Monday, police said they had identified and tracked down the young bride and that she would be under their protection as they investigated the controversial marriage.

The office of the influential priest, who serves an indigenous community in the capital, has continued to defend the ceremony, saying it was an engagement and the girl is not expected to perform marital duties yet.

Members of the community in Nungua are part of the Ga people, who live along the south-eastern coast of Ghana.

In Ga culture, the selection of chiefs, high priests and wives of the high priest is believed to be a spiritual process.

Specific families are responsible for nominating someone for these roles to serve the gods.

In this case, the girl comes from one of the families who by tradition must provide a bride for the high priest.

For the family, it is an honour – though in most cases the chosen candidates for these roles are adults.

By Joy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *