Bash Ali Keen On Fighting In Nigeria

Bash Ali

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Bash Ali
Bash Alili

Despite repeated botched effort to see that the proposed Guinness Book of World Record bout is staged in Nigeria, World Boxing Federation, WBF, cruiserweight champion, Bashiru Lawrence Ali a.k.a Bash Ali is keen on seeing that the fight see the light of the day.

The latest effort the Edo State-born pugilist tries to see that his voice is heard on the corridor of power was a letter he wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan to alert him of official bureaucracy, which had prevented the support the Federal Government promised for the staging of the fight in the country.

In a letter he sent to the President, a copy which was made available to P.M.NEWS Boxing In Focus, Ali said: “In 2006, the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) in recognition of my status as a World Boxing Champion and my financial contribution to sport development and sport promotion in Nigeria gave me the highest national honour ever given to a Nigerian athlete, Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).

“I was happy and proud to be a Nigerian and thought that since the FGN has acknowledged my status and contribution to a better and a more profitable Nigeria through sports that henceforth all doors to contribute more would be opened to me, but I was wrong, very wrong.”

The boxer said that since 2006 till now, he had made several efforts to see that the fight takes place in Nigeria. Efforts that had seen a Local Organising Committee, LOC set up by the government of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on 9 November, 2009, endorsement and intervention of House of Representatives under Dimeji Bankole, Chief Tony Anenih, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd.), Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), Senate President, David Mark, the current Secretary to Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim, the Chairman of People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji  Bamanga Tukur, CON, the Sultan of Sokoto, Ambassador Godknows Igali, HRM King A.J Turner and former Governor of Bayelsa State, DSP Alamieyeseigha.

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“When these efforts yielded no positive result, I became so frustrated that in February, 2011, I went to Libya to meet with the late Muammar Ghaddafi for intervention because I want this historic fight to remain on the soil of Africa. He agreed to host and invited all the participants to Libya for a world press conference but a couple of days later the civil war started in Libya and the rest is academic,” he said.

Ali recalled that he had the chance to meet Jonathan at the Presidential Retreat on Sport held last October, after which  the president promised the FG’s readiness to host the fight in Abuja with the directive to the Chief of Staff, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe and the National Sports Commission, NSC to liase him and worked out the modalities to ensure a hitch free organisation of the fight.

“We had several meeting at the NSC and on 27 February, an agreement was reached on how to successfully host this historic event to the glory and honour of our great country and forwarded to the Presidency by the Minister/Chairman NSC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi. The new LOC was supposed to be inaugurated on Tuesday, 5 March in Abuja. But the inauguration never took place and up till today, despite several calls and text messages to the Presidency, nobody at the Presidency or at the NSC has given me any reason as to why the inauguration did not take place.”

He disclosed that his plan to see that the fight sees the light of the day has been meeting brick walls from bad and unpatriotic government officials.

He wants Jonathan to come to his aid and fulfill all the promises the government had made for him in the past.

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