More Money For Nigeria, COVID-19 Has Increased Stake On My Guinness World Fight, Bash Ali Writes Buhari
While novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is seen as a pandemic that has put the whole world on a standstill with negative economic hardship on nations of the world. The scourge will however be a blessing in disguise for Nigeria if the government can caught on the opportunity avail by organising and hosting of the first-ever Guinness World Record Boxing Championship in Africa.
The historic bout will involve 64-year-old Nigerian boxer, Bashiru Lawrence Ali, OON, who will take on a yet to be named foreign boxer.
It will be a night of record breaking for the Nigerian Boxing Ambassador, Bash Ali, who will create a world record as the oldest man in the world to step on a boxing ring for a world title and a win on that night will create another record as the oldest man on earth to win a world boxing title.
There is no doubt that this will be unprecedented, as it will attract the interest of boxing pundits across the world and attention beam on the country hosting this epic fight.
P.M. EXPRESS understands that COVID-19 has increased the estimated revenue expected from the pay per view live telecast of the fight.
For Nigeria not to miss out from the financial gains if the fight is hosted in the country, the World Boxing Federation (WBF) cruiserweight champion, Bash Ali decided to take the bull by the horns. He has written to President Muhammadu Buhari to seek for an audience so that he will have the opportunity to brief him (Buhari) on what Nigerian tends to gain and other arrangements needed to get the job done because those saddled with the responsibility of overseeing and managing sports in the country in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports in Abuja have shown and exhibited their non patriotism and incompetence in ensuring that the Guinness World Record Championship sees the light of the day despite repeated presidential directives.
Bash Ali told President Buhari in the letter dated 23 June, 2020 that ‘’Sports is one of the biggest industries in the World and if well organized in Nigeria would earn big time money for the government.
“A Guinness World Records Boxing Championship Fight has never held outside of the United States of America (USA) so this would be the first, the most lucrative and on the soil of Africa, to be exact, on the soil of Nigeria. This historic fight before COVID-19 was estimated to be watched live on Pay Per View Television (PPVTV) by an estimated audience of 20M-25M people but now, because of the fear of people going outdoors after the COVID-19 palavar, it isexpected to be watched live on PPVTV by an estimated audience of between 30M-35M people at the rate of $100 per viewer for a $3 billion minimum PPVTV revenue not including sponsorship, adverts and sales of souvenirs that could amount to another $1billion and would also attract over 132 countries to Nigeria to be part of boxing history.”
Unfortunate, however, these did not interest the officials at the Ministry of Sports headed by Sunday Dare.
Bash Ali informed Buhari in the letter that “Sir, on November 4, 2019, in the presence of our former great runner, Mary Onyali and all the Heads of Departments at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Minister Sunday Dare told the House that Your Excellency directed him to meet with me to plan how to successfully host in Nigeria my Historic and lucrative fight. He went on to say he is happy that the above Local Organizing Committee (LOC) has been inaugurated by your government so it is now Nigeria’s Project and all arms of the Federal Government would be involved in the hosting of the fight and different committees will be formed with the LOC members directing each. He went on to say, Your Excellency will not be happy that the FG is hosting this Historic Fight and that there is a lawsuit against the FG so we should settle the matter out of court so as to pave way for the successful hosting of Nigeria’s Fight. And that once the matter is settled that he will invite me back to guide and teach him the modus-operandi etc. I told him I was not interested in the money awarded to me by the court but happy that I got justice so the FG can keep the money and that all I want is to host this historic fight in Nigeria. We shake hands and I left.
“The Ministry’s role is to midwife this process ONLY.
“On January 6, 2020, I wrote a letter to Your Excellency, through Minister Dare for a courtesy visit to thank you for your support etc but the Minister in a harsh letter dated January 7, 2020 told me my request is not possible until the Appeal Court matter is settled. The matter was settled in March 2020 and I made several efforts to reach Minister Dare on phone and through his personal assistant Abiodun without success so on May 18, 2020, I dropped off a letterfor him and a couple of T Shirts with the inscription; JOIN US TO KNOCKOUT CORRUPTION IN SPORTS and a refund of my share of the N2M from the court settlement to the FG. The letter and the T-Shirts were acknowledged and received but the N2M was rejected.
“This noble act of returning the N2M upset the Ministry that on my way to my vehicle an anonymous caller called to tell me to remove from the letter the refund of N2M and resubmit the letter otherwise the Minister will hands off the Project and that by refunding the N2M I was implicating them. I told him I will not remove it and he hung up. The next day, May 19, 2020, the Minister returned all what was acknowledged with a letter that the FG is no longer interested in the Nigeria’s Project and a few days later, Minister Dare issued a press release that the FG has hands off Nigeria’s Project.
“Sir, despite your 2015 approval, despite your 2016 approval and letters written to the world boxing bodies to guarantee in Nigeria the safety of the 132 countries and the facilitation of the quick release of the Fight Money domicile at the bank, despite your May 21, 2019 inauguration of the Bash Ali Boxing Project LOC with the Office of your Chief of Staff as a member so the LOC can have access to you, despite your directive to Minister Sunday Dare to meet with me to discuss how to successfully host in Nigeria this Historic Event, despite the Ministry of Sports not putting up a KOBO to host this Historic Fight, despite the Ministry being in line to earn about $100M from this Historic Fight, despite my November 4, 2019 meeting with the minister and my experience as narrated above, all my efforts to host this historic Fight in Nigeria and my efforts to meet with Your Excellency have been blocked because CORRUPTION & BAD ADMINISTRATION.
“Sir, despite juicy offers to fight outside of Nigeria, despite being severally assaulted at the ministry, despite being twice admitted at the National Hospital, Abuja to heal my wounds, despite being detained eight times at various police stations in Abuja, despite spending 43 days in Kuje Prison, not because I am a CRIMINAL, but because I say NO to CORRUPTION and Bad ADMINISTRATION I still NEVER GAVE UP ON MY COUNTRY, Nigeria and I will NEVER GIVE UP ON NIGERIA.”
Unrelenting Bash Ali, who holds one of revered traditional title in Ibadan, Oyo State, Ajagungbade of Ibadanland, seeks an audience to meet Mr. President for three requests: “Permission to present to you the N2M as my share from the Court case so Nigerians would see that I never went to court for money but for Justice and for the world to know that NON CORRUPT Nigerians are solidly behind you in your quest to eradicate or bring to the barest minimum CORRUPTION and BAD ADMINISTRATION in Nigeria.
“Permission to present to you the Fight Souvenirs and a pair of BOXING GLOVES to KNOCKOUT CORRUPTION and BAD ADMINISTRATION in Nigeria.
“Since your Chief of Staff is a member of the LOC to allow him take total control of the hosting of this historic fight.
“My President sir, many NON-CORRUPT Nigerians have been frustrated out of Nigeria to go abroad to realize their dreams but I want to break the JINX that a Nigerian cannot be successful in Nigeria without he or she being CORRUPT, so help me please.”