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General News of Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

No more intimidation, snatching of boxes - Machomen pledge

An association of body builders, Machomen for Good and Justice, says macho men will not become an instrument of violence and intimidation during and after Friday’s elections.

Speaking at a forum organised by the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) for the men of muscle to share their experiences, the Founder of the 6000-member- association Nana Kwabena Boakye said the days of macho men being used as instrument to visit mayhem on innocent citizens during elections was over.

“We are pledging our commitment for peace during and after the elections and would not allow ourselves to be used by politicians to pursue their own agenda,” he said.

The programme attended by traditional rulers, independent presidential candidate, Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah and representatives of the Progressive Peoples Party and the Independent Peoples Party, had regional representatives of the association pledging their commitment to uphold the country’s peace before, during and after Friday’s election.

The macho phenomenon has been part of the country’s electoral system since the dawn of the Fourth Republic.

The two major political parties—the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party have been pointing fingers at each other for using the muscled men to steal ballot boxes or intimidate opposing supporters.

But that Nana Asaase, the winner of this year’s Man Ghana Competition stated, would end with Election 2012.

“We appeal to all other macho men across the country to join us to preach peace and not violence,” he urged.

He said since 1992 many of his colleagues had either been killed or maimed for pursuing the agenda of some selfish politicians and called on the macho community to see the recent clash in Ash Town, Kumasi, following which a macho-man is reportedly crippled for life after an NDC–NPP clash, as a typical example of the needless suffering machomen cause themselves.

He appealed to other macho men who are not part of the group not to allow themselves, to be used and dumped by self-seeking politicians.

With the camera on them and cheers from the audience, some of the machomen could not resist the temptation of flexing their muscles.

The Managing Director of the GCGL, Mr Ken Ashigbey who chaired the function, said the company by its action had demonstrated that machomen could become vanguards for peace.

He urged Ghanaians to see the 2012 elections as a moment to elect a chief executive for Ghana and not a time to undermine the country’s peace.

Mr Ransford, Tetteh, the Editor of the Daily Graphic expressed optimism that while tension and anxiety was a little high because of the elections, the country would emerge from the elections and firmly place itself on the world democratic map.

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