By Femi Adefioye, Lagos
A former World Boxing Federation (WBF) Welterweight champion, Mr. Bashiru Lawrence Ali has written a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari complaining about treatment being meted out to him by the Sports Minister, Mr. Solomon Dalung and some other government officials.
According to the Edo born pugilist, those accused have been deliberately subverting his dream of staging a Guinness World Record Boxing Championship in Nigeria.
In the letter, a copy of which was made available to BLACKFACE on Saturday, Ali listed 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 as those sabotaging his efforts.
Ali in the letter wrote that, â€œThey are frustrating my effort to bring honour, glory and clean money to Nigeria because they are demanding through a member of Peopleâ€™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.
He added that â€œThey threatened that otherwise this historic event will not see the light of the day in Nigeria.
â€œThese people through their contact in the Presidency have blocked all my letters to you, so ifÂ within five daysÂ 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,â€ Ali said.
Ali, in the letter 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.
â€œYour Excellency, I have many threats to my life that if I expose them I will not live to tell my story, but if Iâ€™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 luckey to kill me, do not allow them to get away with murder please,â€ he said.
The Federal Government had twice on 9 November, 2006, during Olusegun Obasanjoâ€™s regime and 7 January, 2014, during Jonathanâ€™s government, inaugurated a Local Organising Committee (LOC) with instructions to organise the Guinness Book of World Record bout in Nigeria.
â€œThe LOC has been rendered useless by the corrupt, bad adminstration 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.â€