The Somanya District Police Command has arrested fourteen (14) people for performing puberty rite known traditionally as “Dipo” in contravention of the ban on public gathering.
The suspects were arrested on Saturday, May 2, 2020, at Sawer a suburb of Somanya in the Eastern Region.
The suspects are Leaders, parents, and their children.
They are; Samuel Lawer Opata, 85, Tetteh Rebecca,70, Korkor Esther,45, Vivian Amish, 45, Grace Tetteh, 40, Bernice Tetteh,38, Opata Mercy,35, Nartey Eunice, 40, Lovelace Emmanuel Odonkor, 70, and five other children ages between 12 to 17 years.
According to the Somanya District Police Commander, DSP Isaac Kojo Otsin, Police received a tip-off that, some residents of Sawer, a suburb of Somanya, have gathered in a house performing puberty rites known as dipo, a gathering which is against the president’s restriction imposed on public gathering.
Police proceeded to the venue and arrested the organizers and participants of the traditional ritual.
All the suspects have been cautioned, charged and granted court bail to appear before Somanya District Magistrate Court on Monday.
“Dipo” is a very prominent cultural practice among Krobos mostly held between April and May for dozens of teenage Krobo girls every year.
Many girls partake in this event which lasts for a period of four days during which they spend most of their time in the Dipo house where the rites take place.
The rite among other things is to prevent teenage pregnancy and sexual promiscuity until girls were of age and ready to be married.
The Coronavirus pandemic which has triggered the imposition of restriction on public gathering will, therefore, disrupt this year’s spiritual exercise.