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28.06.2004 General News

Girl commits suicide in protest against forced marriage

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Nakpanduri (N/R), June 28, GNA - A 16-year-old Junior Secondary School drop-out, who was forced into marriage against her wishes, committed suicide last Friday at Gbingbane, a village near Nakpanduri in the East Mamprusi district of the Northern region.

Aminatu Tampati, who was nursing a month-old baby, died after taking a poisonous substance believed to be DDT, following a misunderstanding with the husband.

She was used in exchange for marriage between her senior brother, Toejinga Tampati, 24, and wife Hajara who is a sister to Aminatu's husband, in November 2003 as Bimoba custom demands.

Speaking to the GNA at Bunkpurugu, another senior brother, Razaki Tampati, said when Toejinga decided to marry Hajara, it was arranged by their parents that Aminatu should also be married to a man in Hajara's family.

He said Aminatu protested against the arrangements with the explanation that her brother Toejinga did not assist her to complete her schooling in spite of her numerous pleas to him.

Razaki explained that without her sister's consent, the marriage was sealed by both families and Hajara was allowed to stay with Toejinga and Aminatu forced to join her husband.

He stated that at the initial stage, Aminatu escaped from the house to a nearby village, and after a three-day search, she was found and dragged back to her husband's house.

He said Aminatu threatened to take her life if she was sent back to the man's house, but the parents did not take her serious. Aminatu realized belatedly that she was pregnant and in May this year, she gave birth prematurely which resulted into frequent quarrels between the couple with constant assaults by the husband.

She became fed up and left for her parents' house on Friday morning, where she sneaked into her father's room to drink the substance, Razaki said, adding that Aminatu was rushed to a nearby clinic, but she died before sche could be attended to.