Ex Boxing Champ, Bash Ali, 57, Becomes PDP Gateman To Elicit Govt’s Support For His Last Championship Fight
The National Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday became a centre of attraction as the former World Federation Cruiserweight Boxing Champion, Bashi Ali, turned himself into the secretariat’s gateman.
Ali, 57, said he decided to embark on the action to draw government’s attention to his quest to actualise his dream of entering the “Guinness Book of Records’’ as the oldest boxer to win a world title.
It would be recalled that in 2009, Ali had planned to fight Britain’s John Keenton on April 25 in Warri for a Cruiserweight title in his bid to actualise the objective.
He also made efforts to secure a venue in Nigeria for his World Boxing Championship fight against Gunn Bobby of the US without any success.
Ali told newsmen yesterday that he decided to turn a gateman to draw government’s attention to the need to inaugurate a local organising committee (LOC) for his fight in order to enable him realise his objective.
He recalled that the inauguration of the committee was earlier planned for November 9, 2006 and March 5, but could not hold.
Ali said he was ready to man the PDP gate as long as it takes the government to respond positively to his request.
“I have decided to come here today to resume work as PDP Secretariat’s gateman, pending when they deem it necessary to inaugurate the LOC.
“Am not going anywhere, I will continue to open the gate for them today; I will do it tomorrow until they do the right thing.
“What I am doing here today by being their gateman is to dramatise the fact that they cannot continue to drive Nigeria backwards.
“I had the opportunity to meet President Goodluck Jonathan on October 22, 2012, one-on-one and we discussed the issue.’’
The boxer explained that he chose the PDP secretariat because of the party’s involvement in the initial arrangement.
“The choice of PDP is because the idea for a LOC was initiated by the party, which promised to do whatever I wanted for me, then.’’
Ali expressed regret that he was being denied an opportunity to excel in his chosen career and to contribute to President Jonathan’s transformation agenda.
“Right now we have all the banks that have agreed to put up the money for the fight; they are not asking the federal government for a kobo, but the provision of an enabling environment.
“They want the government to bring everybody together and inaugurate the committee, but the government has not acted because somebody is being selfish and does not want Nigeria to progress.
“Do not forget that the LOC for this project was initiated by the federal government and the proposed sponsors are saying that it should be inaugurate so that they can release money through that channel.
“America gave me the opportunity to become somebody and this made it possible for my country to give me a national honour.
“When they gave it to me they said Bash Ali do more so you can get more. In the process of trying to do more they are trying to kill me; they are trying to strangulate me.
“Am not going to fight them. It’s not going to be anything physical, but I will be opening gate pending when they decide to inaugurate the committee,’’ he added.
Meanwhile, Ali has appealed to President Jonathan to come to his aid, saying that he planned to establish five boxing academies and a sports equipment manufacturing factory in the country that would provide employment for the youth.
Curled from : http://www.9jalife.com