Lagos - Sports minister Solomon Dalung says he did not
assault former boxing champion Bash Ali.
Special Assistant on Media to the Minister Nneka Ikem
Anibeze described as falsehood, a story being allegedly circulated by former
cruiser weight boxing champion Bashiru Ali aka Bash Ali.
The Minister's aide said the text message by Ali is an
unsubstantiated claim with intent to deceive the public.
The SMS being disseminated by the boxer claimed that he was
currently admitted at the trauma ward of the National Hospital Abuja after he
was manhandled by the Minister's security.
According to the SA Media, "Ali came to see the
Minister and was told to wait at the Minister's waiting room with the 10 people
who accompanied him.
"The Hungarian Ambassador to Nigeria, Prof. Gabor
Ternak who had an earlier appointment for 2pm arrived a few minutes later and
was ushered in by the Protocol officer. Bash Ali barricaded the entrance to the
office of the Minister with the men who accompanied him as he questioned why
the ambassador would be allowed to see the Minister while he, who came earlier
was not given access."
The uniformed security tried to persuade Bash and his men to
leave the Minister's Secretary's office but to no avail. The boxer who was
carrying a file and mobile phone carefully went to the Secretary's table to
drop his valuables and then fell flat on his back across the doorway.
"Bash Ali was neither touched, shoved nor manhandled by
security operatives of the Minister. He feigned that he had been beaten up but
we challenge him to produce physical evidence of assault, gun butt bumps,
bruises, swelling or otherwise as being presented to the public.
"He has a record of such antics following his despair
to defend a world boxing title at over 60.
"In 2013, he alleged that he was beaten up by security
operatives of the then Minister of Youth and Sports Mallam Bolaji
Abdullahi. In 2015, the WBF cruiser
weight boxing champion was detained in Kuje prison following an altercation
with the MD of a bank over funds for his title fight."
Anibeze described Ali as an attention seeker who would stop
at nothing to get funds for a purported World Guinness book of records fight.
"He needs to find alternative means of raising money
for this World Guinness book of records title fight as government is finding it
difficult to sustain programs on the sports calendar of sports federations at
this time of recession let alone a title fight by a professional boxer.
"His allegation of assault by security personnel of the
Minister is cheap blackmail and won't fly. Moreover, his forceful attempt to
stop the Hungarian ambassador from gaining entry to the Minister's office is a
national embarrassment by a legendary boxer like Bash and he should tender an
unreserved apology for his public misbehavior". Anibeze said.The incident has already been reported to the
police while other security agencies have been duly notified.
- News24 Nigeria