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31.10.2007 General News

Girl, father in forced marriage tussle

By GNA

A 17-year-old Junior High School pupil has only three days to begin married life, but she says her father forced her into the contract.

Miss Barkatu Ziblim, formerly of the Tolon Roman Catholic Primary School is from Dihi-Nayili near Dalun in the Tolon Kumbungu District of the Northern Region and says she would have preferred to complete schooling.

Now out of school and waiting to satisfy her father, Mallam Ziblim's wishes, Miss Barkatu says her attempts at running away from the coming 'ordeal', including having to go into hiding have all come to nothing.

But her father claims she willingly dropped out of school to get married and all he knows is that in three days, her daughter is to become a wife.

But Miss Barkatu told Joy News Correspondent, Mahama Shaibu, that her father's claim is false, and while she is unhappy with the situation, there is nothing she can do.

Her story comes on the heels of a similar situation encountered by a 19-year-old girl who was chained to the seats of a bus some three months ago in an attempt to be transported to Walewale, in the West Mamprusi District for a forced marriage.

She was rescued just in time by the Accra Motor Transport and Traffic Unit of the Ghana Police Service upon a tip off.

The perpetrators were subsequently put on trial and handed jail terms only a week ago.

Betrothal has been widely practiced in Ghana, especially among the Northern communities, however, the practice is lately facing sporadic opposition from especially the young girls involved, who believe they must have a big say in who they marry.

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