Former world boxing cruiser-weight champion Bash Ali has accused the Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung as well as other top government officials of corruption, stating that they have deliberately stalled his dream to become the oldest boxing champion in the world.
According to the Puglist, his efforts to stage the biggest fight in Nigeria with his name in the Guinness World Record Boxing has been frustrated by the minister and his ‘cohorts’ as he alleged,
“they are demanding through a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), David West, for a $100m bribe from the $750m Pay Per View television profits from the Guinness World Record Boxing Championship Fight otherwise this historic event would not see the light of the day in Nigeria.”
Bash Ali claimed to have sent several letters to the president but reiterated that he is quite sure his messages would not get to him as the ‘criminals’ would have deliberately stalled his moves. The frustrated boxer then made public his letter titled ‘The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain’ to the president.
Read the full letter below:
“THE LABOR OF OUR HEROES PAST SHALL NEVER BE IN VAIN’’
My Dear President Sir, Assalam Alaikum.
Minister Solomon Dalung, three of his officials and a high ranking official at the presidency are corrupt and are the embodiment of bad administration and injustice
A high ranking official at the presidency, the minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, the permanent secretary, ministry of Youth and Sports, Christian Ohaa, National Sports Commission (NSC), director general, Yakmut Al-Hassan and Grassroots Sports Director, NSC, Mr Are, are corrupt, embodiment of bad administration and injustice and they are frustrating my efforts to bring honour, glory and clean money and clean money to Nigeria because they are demanding through a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), David West, for a $100m bribe from the $750 Pay Per View Television profits from the Guinness World Record Boxing Championship Fight otherwise this historic event would not see the light of the day in Nigeria.
Sir, these criminals through their contacts at the Presidency have blocked all my letters to you so if within 5 days I do not get a reply from you, I will know that as usual it has been blocked then I will make it available to the media so you can read, hear and see these criminals in your cabinet.
These criminals, just to show Nigerians how powerful they are, on Thursday 21, 2016, purposely omitted my name from the list of the athletes that were honoured by Your Excellency because they know that once I meet with you, I will expose them so instead, they substituted me with another professional boxer who has never won a world title for himself or for Nigeria.
Your Excellency, you were deceived. Nigerians, the god of Sports and patriotism will never forgive these criminals. Amen.
The exchange of texts messages between I, the PDP man and Alhaji Mohammed is marked annexure 1. The meetings and texts messages between I, Minister Dalung, the Permanent Secretary and the Chairman of the Kangaroo Committee that the minister set up to help him write a perfect memo to Your Excellency is marked annexure 2. Text messages between I, minister Dalung and NSC, DG requesting my inclusion in the list of those to be honoured by Your Excellency is marked annexure 3.
Your Excellency, I have had many threats to my life that if I expose them I will not live to tell my story but if I am lucky to still be alive when you get this letter, I will be available to shed more light on these criminals and on the text messages if you need me but if as promised, they are lucky to kill me, do not allow them to get away with murder, please.
Since the Federal Government inauguration of the above Local Organizing Committee on November 9, 2006 and again on January 7, 2014, with the clear instruction that this historic event should be organized in a transparent manner, the LOC has been rendered useless by corruption, bad administration and injustice at the NSC, Nexim Bank and Bank of Industry.
Your Excellency, because I refused to bow to their corrupt demands, I had to spend 24 hours at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Cell and 41 days (February 18-April 2, 2015) at Kuje Prison on trumped up charges. I will again gladly 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, Nigeria.
Your Excellency, 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 you to stop this corruption, bad administration and injustice today before it is too late for me to bring honour, glory and clean money to Nigeria.
Respectfully submitted for Your Excellency’s immediate attention and action.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Youth and Sports has denied claims by the boxer.
According to Sahara Reporters, the minister disclosed that Bash Ali sent series of text messages about the Guinness Book of World Record Boxing Championship.
The Minister stated he had received a recommendation from the committee he had set up to advice the ministry of the project.
“What the committee concluded was that there is no guarantee of what Bash Ali intended to do about the fight especially how the government can benefit from it,” Dalung started.
“When Ali came forward with his proposed fight, I was so happy to hear it because I believe strongly that anybody with a good project, which will be self-sponsored, that will benefit the government and the good people of Nigeria should be supported.
“He wrote a letter to me and I minuted on it to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, who I directed to constitute a committee to advise the ministry on the viability of the project.
“What the committee concluded was that there is no guarantee of what Bash Ali intended to do about the fight especially how the government can benefit from it. Even if we invest in the project, there is no guarantee of how we can recover our investment.
Sports minster Solomon Dalung sings the condolence register during his visit to NFF secretariat
“The amazing thing was that he could not provide investors for the fight, all what he was interested was a letter of guarantee from the government. With these advice, we had to hand off from going ahead and more importantly government has no money to go into a project like that now.
“The fight is a private sector thing, which government cannot afford to take up. I could remember the Lagos City Marathon recently organised was taken up solely by Access Bank without any money coming out from the government.
This is a kind of arrangement we want from any of the organisers who wants to stage sporting events in the country. Why will Bash Ali ask us to come and fund his project? He can go ahead to organise what he likes to do. We are looking forward to people who will come around to invest in sports in the country,” the minister narrated.
On the allegation of demand for gratification of $100 million from the Pay Per View Television profits, Dalung has these to say:
“After he was told about our position on this fight, he continued to send series of messages to me that I was an arrogant person. I want to put the record straight, I did not demand for any money from Bash Ali. Even looking at him, he doesn’t resemble a person that can give anybody $1,000 not to talk of $1 million or $100 million.
I will advise that if he has $1 million, this is enough for him to organise his fight. Where will he even get the money?
“Concerning my people in the ministry who he said approached him for money, this is an interesting allegation which I will investigate properly to ascertain the truth of the matter and if anybody is found culpable, there will be serious and appropriate sanction.
I would only want Bash Ali to come forward to prove his allegations and he too should know that if he is telling lies, we have appropriate law that we would apply on him.
“I’m so glad for this call to clarify what Bash Ali said he has written, I cannot ask him to give me money because of his fight,” he concluded.