20-Yr-Old Lady Attempts Suicide To Protest ‘exchange Marriage’ In Northern Ghana

A 20-year-old lady who was forced to marry a man in line with an ‘exchange marriage’ tradition in the Northern Region of Ghana, has attempted suicide after a failed escape from her family home.

Ayisha Mohammed was said to have drank a poisonous weedicide, sarosate, on Wednesday March 21, 2018 causing her to temporarily paralysed.

She was rushed to the Salaga Government Hospital where doctors managed to revive her. She is currently responding to treatment, doctors told 3news.com

The attempted suicide happened in Bunkpa in the East Gonja Municipality.

Her betrothed husband, Yahaya Mohammed, arrived with her at the hospital on Thursday, March 22,2018 after he had earlier sent her to her [Ayisha’s] father’s house in Bunkpa.

Ayisha “was brought in by her husband almost motionless,” Dr Sharrif Halid who is the medical superintendent at the hospital confirmed to 3news.com.

Ayisha, a native of Bunkpa was betrothed to Yahaya Mohammed from Seidupe in the Central Gonja District about two months ago.

This was after Ayisha’s 27-year-old brother whose name was only given as Jabari, had married Yahaya’s sister, Sadia, who is 21 years old.

Though Ayisha insisted on not marrying Yahaya in line with the exchange marriage tradition, all attempts to get her parent rescind the decision proved futile.

As the eldest among three girls, her parents took the view she was the only eligible candidate for the exchange marriage.

What is the ‘Chokosi’ exchange marriage tradition?

The exchange marriage is a traditional obligation among the Chokosi tribe in northern Ghana.

The age-long tradition allows a man to exchange her sister for a woman in another family; thus, if the man finds that woman worthy of marriage.

Ayisha recounted how her ‘husband’ kidnapped her a month ago.

“I was leaving Bunkpa to Salaga where I knew I could get an escape route either to Tamale or Accra when he [Yahaya] kidnapped me in the bush”.

Though she had since been living with her ‘husband’ in his family house in Seidupe, she told 3news.com that there has not been any intimacy between her and Yahaya yet.

According to Ayisha, she spent most of the nights in her mother in-law’s room.

“I was asked to marry him because my brother married his sister but I refused and he kidnapped me when I was going to Salaga “she claimed.

But Yahaya has refuted the kidnapping claim by his ‘wife’.

“Her brother married my sister and as tradition demands, she had to replace her,” Yahaya explained.

He admitted that Ayisha made it clear she did not love him and could not move in with him as husband and wife, but ” her [Ayisha’s] family insisted that I came for her since there was no option”.

Meanwhile, the incidence is yet to be reported to the police.

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