14 arrested for performing Dipo rites in Somanya
The Somanya District Police Command has arrested fourteen (14) people for performing puberty rite known traditionally as “Dipo” in contravention to the ban on public gathering.
The suspects have arrested on Saturday, May 2, 2020, at Sawer a suburb of Somanya in the Eastern Region.
The suspects 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 with 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 as 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 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.