Posted by News Express | 9 October 2014 | 3,480 times
The ambition of ageless Nigerian boxer Bash Ali to have his Guinness World Record Boxing fight staged in Nigeria has seen him languishing in a police cell since yesterday.
Bash Ali, World Boxing Federation (WBF) cruiserweight champion, was at the headquarters of NEXIM Bank in Abuja to see its Managing Director, Robert Orya to demand the release of the N150 million financial support to aid the hosting of the competition. The money is to be given to the Local Organising Committee, LOC, inaugurated by the former chairman of the National Sports Commission, Bolaji Abdullahi, in January. The LOC is headed by former Sports Minister, Bala Kawa Ka’Oje
The Edo State-born ex-wrestler turned pugilist, who had been having a running battles with Orya over his refusal to release the money could not see the NEXIM Bank MD yesterday; instead he was arrested by men of Nigeria Police attached to the Federal Secretariat in Abuja when he arrived the premises of the bank.
P.M.NEWS reports that Bash Ali had been detained since yesterday afternoon and had not been released as at press time.
He was quoted as lamenting: “This is what an athlete who was given a national honour (OON) can get from this country,” Bash Ali said in a telephone conversation early today. “The other time I was at this bank, a car ran me down to the extent that I was hospitalised for eight days.
“I was at the bank again yesterday only to be arrested. The Divisional Police Officer, DPO, attached to the station told me to write a statement, but I told him that I won’t write anything because I was at the bank to demand for the legitimate money that Mr. Onya has to give to the LOC of the fight. No kobo has been released because they want a private meeting with me, which I refused.
“What we are doing about the fight is legitimate. President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered a LOC to be inaugurated only for some people to go against the president’s directive. The government of Nigeria gave me a national honour, but see where I am today? The police were told to detain me like an armed robber because I demanded that the president’s order must be strictly followed.
“I know one thing. I won’t relent until justice is done to this fight. This Guinness Book of World Record fight is not for my honour nor my family but this great country which belongs to all of us.
“I want to fight to bring honour to this country as the oldest boxer to have won a world boxing championship,” he said.
•Adapted from a PM NEWS report. Photo shows Bash Ali.
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