World Boxing Federation (WBF) champion, Bashiru Lawrence Ali has sent a complaint letter to President Muhammadu Buhari reporting what Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung and some other government officials have been doing to deliberately subvert his dream of staging a Guinness World Record Boxing Championship in Nigeria.
Ali alleged in the letter that “a high-ranking official at the Presidency, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, the Permanent Secretary of the Sports Ministry, Christian Ohaa, National Sports Commission Director General, Alhassan Yakmut and Grassroots Sports Director of the NSC, Mr. Aare are corrupt, embodiment of bad administration and injustice.”
According to him, “they are frustrating my effort to bring honour, glory and clean money to Nigeria because they are demanding through a member of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for a $100 million from the $750 million Pay Per View television profits which would be accrued to the country from the proposed Guinness World Record Boxing Championship fight. They threatened that otherwise this historic event will not see the light of the day in Nigeria.
“These people through their contact in the Presidency have blocked all my letters to you, so if within five days I do not get a reply from you, then I will know that as usual it has been blocked then I will make it available to the media for you to read, hear and see these bad people in your cabinet,” Ali said.
The Edo state-born pugilist, who is fondly called Bash Ali, in the letter to President Buhari disclosed that he has records of series of text messages to show the communications between him, the PDP man, Minister Dalung, Permanent Secretary Ohaa and NSC DG, Yakmut, transcripts of which has been made available to the media at the weekend.
“Your Excellency, I have many threats to my life that if I expose them I will not live to tell my story, but if I’m lucky to still be alive when you get this letter, I will be able to shed light on these people and on the text messages if you need me, and if as promised they are lucky to kill me, do not allow them to get away with murder please,” he said.
Ali recalled how badly he was treated during the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan by corrupt officials. “Because I refused to bow to corruption, I spent 24 hours at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) cell and 41 days (18 February-5 April, 2015) at Kuje Prison on trumped up charges. I will again gladly to go back to SARS cell and Kuje Prison if this is the price I have to pay in order to bring honour, glory and clean money to my country, Nigeria.”
The Federal Government had twice on 9 November, 2006, during Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime and 7 January, 2014, during Jonathan’s government, inaugurated a Local Organising Committee (LOC) with instructions to organise the Guinness Book of World Record bout in Nigeria.
Ali added: “The LOC has been rendered useless by the corrupt, bad administration and injustice at the NSC, Nexim Bank and the Bank of Industry. I am a fighter like you and I believe that the right thing for our country, Nigeria must be done at all time so I am respectfully asking to stop this corruption.”
Ali, who started as a wrestler in the United States of America, however vowed to stage a one-man protest at the gate of Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja from Monday if he discovers that those officials have prevented President Buhari from receiving his letter.