Controversy sparks as Ghanaian traditional priest, aged 63, weds 12-year-old girl.

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A 63-year-old influential traditional priest in Ghana has stirred outrage by marrying a 12-year-old girl.

The priest, known as Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII, conducted the customary ceremony on Saturday.

Despite facing criticism, community leaders argue that outsiders fail to grasp their customs and traditions.

The legal age for marriage in Ghana is 18, yet child marriages persist, although the prevalence has declined.

According to Girls Not Brides, a global NGO, 19% of girls in Ghana marry before 18, with 5% marrying before 15.

Images and videos of the elaborate ceremony, attended by many community members, have circulated widely on social media, prompting condemnation from Ghanaians.

During the event, women advised the girl in the Ga language to dress attractively for her husband and use perfumes to enhance her appeal, sparking further outrage.

Critics have called for the dissolution of the marriage and an investigation into Mr. Tsuru.

Leaders of the Nungua indigenous community, where both the girl and the priest belong, have defended the marriage, attributing opposition to ignorance.

Nii Bortey Kofi Frankwa II, a local leader, explained that the girl began the process to become the priest’s wife six years ago without disrupting her education.

The girl will undergo a second customary ceremony to prepare her for marital duties and purify her for her new role.

Mr. Tsuru, a traditional high priest in the Nungua community, holds a prominent spiritual position and performs various community rituals.

While Ghanaian law recognizes customary marriages, it does not sanction child marriages under cultural or traditional pretexts.

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