Nungua Wulomo Marriage Saga: NCCE Bares Teeth

THE NATIONAL COMMISSION for Civic Education (NCCE) has emphatically registered its displeasure over an alleged betrothal of a 12-year old girl to the Gborbu Wulomo of the Nungua Traditional Area, Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII, 63.

The Commission, in a release signed by its Chairperson, Kathleen Addy, iterated that it was “appalled” by the development and emphasized that cultural practices that are “illegal” and “unconstitutional” have no place in Ghana’s democracy.

“The NCCE wishes to remind the Ga Traditional Council that the Children’s Act, Act 560 of 1998, Section 13, (1&2) provides that ‘The minimum age of marriage of whatever kind shall be eighteen years’. It is also worth pointing out that the same section of the Children’s Act says that ‘No person shall force a child (a) to be betrothed; (b) to be the subject of a dowry transaction; or (c) to be married’”, the Commission stated.

The Commission also noted that while the Nungua Traditional Council contends that this union is voluntary, “it is unclear to the NCCE how a pre-pubescent, pre-teen minor can consent to such an arrangement.”

The Commission therefore called on the Nungua Traditional Council to note that the same 1992 Constitution, in Article 39 also states that “……traditional practices which are injurious to the health and well-being of the person are abolished”, and urged the Nungua Traditional Council to “review its traditional practices to bring them in line with the laws and 1992 Constitution of Ghana, and to refrain from actions that may have a negative impact on the youth of Nungua.

The Commission also called for the intervention of the National and Regional Houses of Chiefs, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection as well as the Department of Social Welfare to ensure that the best interests of the child are protected and child marriages are removed from our customary practices.

BY Nii Adjei Mensahfio

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