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Nungua Gborbu Wulomo Takes 12-year-old as Bride, Chief Says it’s Biblical

According to Ablade TV Online, a GaDangme news page on Facebook that first reported this, the marriage is to fulfill customary demands in the GaDangme community.

The Gborbu Wulomo of Nungua, Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII, on Saturday, March 30, took 12-year-old Naa Okromo as a wife in a traditional customary fashion.

According to Ablade TV Online, a GaDangme news page on Facebook that first reported this, the marriage is to fulfill customary demands in the GaDangme community.

The report suggests that the young bride, Naa Okromo, who will now be addressed as Naa Ayemoede, is to undergo a second customary ceremony, one centered on purification.

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This ritual is also thought to empower her to carry out her anticipated responsibilities as a wife to Gborbu Wulomo, which includes bearing children.

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The ceremony has since gone viral on social media with many Ghanaians questioning the age gap and the significance of such traditions. Others have called on the Ghana Police Service and the Gender Ministry to intervene and discourage such traditional practices.

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Future stolen, happiness stolen, right stolen and incoming mental health problems. This is a barbaric act. Whether she’s stool wife or not. It’s a total no. I can’t sit and watch my “16-year-old” sister go through this not to talk of “12 years old” come on,” a Facebook user, Begieta Heartwill Amewugah  shared in the comments.

Responding to the public backlash, the spokesperson of Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII,  Nii Bortey Kofi Frankwa II, said in an interview with GHONE TV that persons calling the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection to intervene are only doing so out of ignorance, insisting that the new bride’s role is purely customary.

“When they go ask about Mary and Joseph and they are satisfied with the research work about them [Mary and Joseph], then they should call the gender minister to abolish Christianity,” Nii Bortey Kofi Frankwa II told the press.

He also emphasized that the ceremony would in no way affect her education.

Other reports also suggest that the Nungua Mantse, King Odaifio Welenttsi III, has also justified Gborbu Wulomo’s marriage to the 12-year-old with a verse from the Bible.

The Bible verse from Leviticus 21:13 reads:

“He is to marry a young virgin, not a widow, not a divorcee, not a cult prostitute— he is only to marry a virgin from his own people. He must not defile his descendants among his people because I am GOD who makes him holy.”

According to King Welenttsi III, based on their customs, the high priest needed a virgin to marry but given the promiscuous nature of today’s youth, virgins are hard to come by at the age of 18. Therefore, it is just right to “customarily marry a young girl who is still a virgin(clean) at 12 before she is disvirgined.”

“The tradition that is been performed is in the Bible so whichever culture disagrees should do it their own way when it’s their turn because customs are not dynamic, ” King Odaifio Welentsi III added.

The Ministry of Gender and Social Protection has not commented on the issue yet.

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