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Note: First published on May 30, 2020. The “published” date on the tab is the date that it was uploaded on this new site.

This is “No Bullshiting,” by Harry Agina.

The quest to put Nigeria in the Guinness Book Of World Records in boxing, by Bashiru Ali, goes as far back as the year 2006. Naturally, I can only give you a brief gist of it now, in order to get to the current episode in the saga. I will start with the man called Bashiru Ali, and who he is. What makes him to believe that he can put Nigeria and himself (of course) in the famous Guinness Book.

Bashiru Ali, aka, Bash Ali, is a Nigerian legend in boxing. He is 64 years “young.” The entire story of his boxing career with all his titles is too long for my purpose here. But, I will give you a very brief gist of it, just to set the record straight. Some persons think that the man just jumped out of the blues, and jumped into the World Guinness Record quest.

Bash is a holder of the Officer Of The Niger (OON). This is the highest national honor ever awarded to any Nigerian in athletics–ever!!! And, he more than deserves it for several reasons. The first is the fact that he is the only boxer in the entire world to win a world boxing champion title without first boxing as an armature. He went from zero boxing, straight to world championship, and won the title. And, he is the only boxer to win every Cruiserweight boxing championship ever conceived. They are: California Title, “United States Boxing Association (USBA); the continental “North America Boxing Federation (NABF)”; “World Boxing Council International (WBCI)”, twice. And, he is currently the “World Boxing Federation (WBF)” Cruiserweight Champion, which he won on September 9, 2000, by knocking out Terry Ray of America.

Now, let’s fast-forward a little, shall we. At stake in the planed Guinness World Record bout is Bash’s WBF Champion title. And, the big international hoopla about this is that Bash will be defending this title in a grand legendary style, by fighting an American boxing champion that is TENS OF YEARS YOUNGER than Bash. No wonder, the global body called Guinness Book of World records is very, very, very interested in the fight. When this happens, it will bring trillions of naira to Nigeria, in various ways, including and especially Pay-Per-View-TV, sponsorship, adverts, and sale of souvenirs around the world. Guinness Book, and America whose son is going to fight Bash, will ensure all this. It is estimated that over 3 billion us dollars would accrue from Pay-TV and adverts alone.

The problem, or the devil in the way against this, is the idea-killer syndrome of some of the people in the government of Nigeria. Many of them would rather see a great thing die, due to envy, or greed, or corruption, or all of the above, meeeeeen!!! This is a project that will bring honor, glory, and, importantly, huge money into Nigeria. All well-thinking Nigerians, and most rational persons around the world wonder why Nigerian leaders/civil servants are frustrating it. “New York Times” has asked this question. Remember that our oil is presently proving incapable to sustain our economy, and we are out borrowing money and mortgaging our future. Yet, some evil Nigerians bluntly refuse to support a project that will bring in trillions of naira.

The world record saga started in 2006. President Olusegun Obasanjo issued the directive to his Minister of Sports to inaugurate the first Local Organizing Committee (LOC) to kick off the quest. This happened on November 9, 2006. I would have to write a voluminous book if I go through the entire saga of events and corruption matters that did not allow the quest to move forward. So, this is where ‘Mr. “Nut-shell”’ comes in. Suffice to say that President Obasanjo’s people refused to make it happen. Goodluck Jonathan came in and directed his people to inaugurate the LOC all over again on January 7, 2014. But, again, Jonathan left office without the commitment and political will to make sure that what he directed his appointees to do, actually happened. Oil money was still criminally intoxicating everybody.

Now, let’s forward to the present President Buhari era, and more bullshit of laxity, corruption, envy, and ‘let’s kill the idea’ syndrome of Nigeria. Buhari directed the immediate past Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalong, to make the project happen. Again, Dalong delayed the project for a couple of years because Bash refused to bow to his corrupt demands. Eventually, after much pressure,  he inaugurated his own LOC on May 21, 2019. But, shortly after, Dalong’s tenure expired, and Buhari did not renew his appointment to complete the job. Instead, he was replaced with the current Minister, Sunday Dare. Upon Bash’s reminder-pressure, Buhari again personally directed dare to bring the project to fruition. This brings me to the present episode of the saga. Phew!!! I sigh a relief that I am finally here quickly enough, thanks to the brevity of “Mr. Nut-shell.”

My brief statement of Dare’s current episode may give you a little window into the kind of corruption-induced “fall-outs” that have bedeviled this great quest. I have heard some Nigerians blame Bash’s attitude and behavior for the delay of the project; and, I certainly have heard much condemnation of successive Ministers of Sports for the failure, too. I visited Nigeria just before Jonathan’s inauguration, and I became a member of the LOC. So, I did have personal involvement in the goings-on until I exited Nigeria. But, don’t go by my words, lest you think that I am biased. I will only state few facts, with Sunday Dare as my case study, and add a little of my own views; and then, you’ll be the judge:

  • Bash, quite amicably (according to the letter that I read), asked Dare to take the quest to the next level. Dare said that he would take the step, but not until Bash withdrew his case against the former Minister from court. Oh, did I forget to mention the court case? Sorry, please blame it on “Mr. Nut-shell” or “Mr. Brevity.” Yes, Bash had sued Dalong to court for violating his rights with Nigeria Police in one of the incidents that happened during Dalong’s episode in the saga; and, Bash won the case. He was awarded twenty eight million naira for damages. The Federal Government had not paid the sum when Dare took over from Dalong (two ‘funny’ dudes with same first syllable in their names–‘da’).
  • Anyway, Dare requested Bash to accept N15m of the court-awarded N28m, in order to settle out of court, rather than pursue an appeal. Bash responded that he did not even want any of the money at all.He was willing to drop the case without any money. All he wanted was to move the project forward. He does not want the world to think that he is pursuing a paltry sum of N28 million naira. He’s interested in the trillions of naira that’s coming from the project, to benefit not only Bash, but Nigeria.
  • Now, check this out: Dare and his lawyers insisted that Bash mustaccept the money, meeeeeeeeen!!! Note that I have read some communication letters, so you know that I ain’t bullshitting you.
  • Fast forward again: The money was paid to Bash, in cash,not the normal bank route that such transactions of the government should So, why did Dare insist to pay in cash? I will tell you my deduction shortly. Anyway, Bash obediently received the cash, as long as it meant that the project would take off.
  • Then, Bash still wanted to make the point that he is not interested in the money. So, he spent N13 million of the N15 million on legal fees, and returned the balance of N2 million naira to Dare, officially,with a letter. The letter requested/requests Dare to move the project forward, now that the court case is out of the way. It explains, formally, his decision to return the balance after his legal fees. This is where shit started hitting the ceiling again. Dare refused to accept the returned money; and, he told Bash that he must expunge any line in his letter that talks about the money; otherwise, the show is off, period!!!

Now I ask you; what do you think is the reason for Dare’s weird/strange act of rejecting the money that Bash wanted to, and still wants to return to our government, huh? I know that Nigeria is virtually going broke now; yet our Sports Minister bluntly rejects funds that someone wants to pay into our purse. Why, why, and why, huh??? I will tell you my own deductions, in my usual legally-correct language. I have every right to deduce that Dare rejected the N2 million for the same reason that he insisted that Bash must accept the N15 million. And, the same reason why Dare insisted that the N15m must be paid in cash. Only a man that wants to avoid paper trail and avoid being exposed for fraud would do a thing like that, meeeeeeeen!!!

So, methinks that the entire N28 million naira that court awarded Bash was actually debited to our government and withdrawn, while only N15m was paid to Bash, in cash. Logic suggests that this is also why Dare and his lawyers insisted that Bash must accept the N15m. After all, they couldn’t take the balance if Bash rejected the entire money. Do remember that these are only my deductions from known facts; and definitely not an allegation.

Bash will tell you that, for similar corruption reasons as Dare, the other ministers that have handled this project refused to make it happen. As the anti-corruption ambassador that he is, Bash wants transparency, but they have problem with transparency. Bash has refused to play their hanky-panky game, and they have continued to frustrate the project. Remember, those guys would have made some personal tons of millions, if only they had enough sense to make the project to happen first.

Note that Bash was offered to make this epic event happen in the USA, but he rejected it, because he wants it to happen in his fatherland. To be honest with you, many people are offended with Bash. It is difficult to accept that Bash rejected juicy offers to hold the event outside Nigeria. Even I was offended with Bash at some point, but I quickly changed my mind, because his decision is very honorable.

It is common knowledge that Nigerian citizens excel in all endeavors of life in many countries around the world where we are. Indeed, you will find that Nigerians are the pillars of some of the technologies and systems that drive the economies of several countries of the world. Some of those brilliant brains of Nigerians outside Nigeria could have, and would have been in Nigeria. They could have been using their genius minds to develop Nigeria. Unfortunately, many had to run away from Nigeria, because Nigeria is a killer of great ideas. They had to run out so that their great ideas would see the light of day; knowing that they would never succeed if they stayed in Nigeria. Now, while many of our bright minds are outside Nigeria building foreign economies, our own economy is degenerating to total shit, meeeeeeeen!!!

Yes, indeed, the bane of Nigeria is the evil corruption of the leaders of Nigeria, and everyone around the world knows this already. But I am going beyond the commonly known corruption of stealing money. I will also talk about the sinister corruption of some leaders who willfully destroy the talents or great initiatives of great minds of Nigeria. They drive out our great minds who are in Nigeria; and they keep away those that are already outside, who want to return home to contribute to the nation’s growth. The bad leaders do this for various un-Godly reasons, including the reason that I identify here.

I speak of the “Why him, and not me?” syndrome in Nigeria. Trust me when I talk about this particular sickness of some Nigerian leaders, because I have personally been a victim. When you submit a proposal to a Nigerian leader with this plague, he is only interested in his personal interests. The first thing that hits his/her mind is: How come I’m not the owner of this idea; why this other guy? This is powered by evil greed. And, commonly, the recalcitrant leader plots to either steal the idea, or kill it. His mindset is, “If it can’t belong to me, then it must die.” Very often, my typical leader recalcitrant leader steals the idea and finds somebody else to produce it, and he becomes the major owner of the proceeds. The big problem with this is the mediocrity that pervades the Nigerian society. The stolen ideas are hardly ever as good as the products that the initiator of the idea would have made it.

Now, let’s talk about Mr. Impunity in Nigeria. That ugly word again; my regular readers are probably getting tired of hearing it from me by now. I can’t help myself; some Nigerian leaders are just too much! Check this out: an ordinary minister, an appointee in government, has the audacity to announce that he has canceled a national project. Mind you, the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who appointed him, has endorsed and ordered him to execute the project!!! Well, maybe I shouldn’t blame Dare and the other ministers who defied the orders of presidents Obasanjo, Jonathan, and Buhari. After all, nobody ever got in trouble in the past for such defiance.

In one instance, Buhari ordered his IGP to temporarily relocate, in order to address security emergency, and the IGP flouted the order. President Buhari actually complained and expressed shock on TV, yet nothing happened to the IGP. He remained in office, and we never heard of any disciplinary consequences to him. President Jonathan also displayed such weak leadership character during his tenure. But, I must tell ya; the fact that the no-bullshitting Obasanjo allowed his Sports Minister to get away with that bullshit when he defied his order to execute the Guinness Book project, baffles the hell out of me, til tomorrow. If it’s some kind of jinx, Bash The Champ Ali is determined that it must be broken, and I agree, meeeeeeeeen!!!

Note that most, if not all the Nigerians that I heard blaming Bash in this saga, do so due to the Nigerian factor that I often talk about…“This is Nigeria,” where shit happens, and flocks of flies hover around the shit. “This is Nigeria,” where a man is condemned for being an honest man. Bash is sarcastically defined as a foolish man that is trying to be Mr. Anti-Corruption saint. He is castigated because he doesn’t want to submit to the “normal” Nigerian corruption games and get his project done. To be honest with you; that’s what almost got me pissed off with my friend, Bash The Champ Ali, but I quickly snapped out of it, thank God. “Clean money” is one of his favorite slogans.

 Finally, it’s time to condemn some members of my journalism constituency in Nigeria. I watched a sports program on AIT, and I was very appalled by the shallowness of the discussion on Bash Ali’s project. I am especially miffed because I am an Honorary Member of the AIT family, and I don’t like such bullshit on my TV station. We are much better than that, meeeeeen!!! I gathered that the guest is another sports reporter from I-know-not-where. My disappointment is that the conversation was too shoddy. The dudes simplistically glossed over the topic so unprofessionally, within a couple of minutes, leaving out the entire substance of the matter. If you ain’t got the time or knowledge to do the show well, then don’t do it at all; I always say. I was especially offended by the guest and his suggestion that bash should discard the Guinness Record idea because he is too old. What an infantile, ignorant statement, for a journalist!!!

Check this out: The guest reporter is a young man, probably in his early to mid-30s; but, guess what? I can bet everything I own that Bash would bash him out into a comma, if not dead, within one minute, if he dares to challenge Bash to a fight. I do believe this, meeeeeen!!! Just a couple of days back, I jovially poked Bash. I teased him that I am pissed off with him, because he is my senior in age, but he looks much younger than I, which makes me jealous. And, I wasn’t bullshitting him either. I don’t bullshit with hypocrisy. I would rather shut the hell up, than say what I don’t mean. The man called Bash does look as fit and strong as a hors. No wonder, he says that he is “an extraordinary man.”

Now, let’s talk about my main reason to call the sports reporters unprofessional, and, I will first sum it up in a short phrase, thus: In the matter of Guinness Book Of World Records, the older, the better, period!!! I am disappointed with any reporter that does not know this. He or she needs some coaching in journalism and facts, meeeeeeen!!! He/she lacks knowledge in what to cover in a reportage. Any reporter that knows his onions knows that the older Bash is, or any boxer for that matter, the better. For any person who can get into a ring at the age of 100 years to challenge a younger boxer; just the fitness and the courage of getting into that ring, already creates a world record and interest. One does have to undergo medical and physical checkup before one is allowed to get in the ring. Bash has been going for those checkups. And, he is in training and physical exercise for hours every doggone day, as if he is fighting tomorrow. He has a clean bill of health from his doctors.

 Once again, I emphasize: the older Bash is, the better, and more globally popular, and more money for Nigeria. The dudes on TV completely missed that essence; and, such shallow view misleads the public. I emphasize this to discourage unsavory argument concerning Bash Ali’s age; that is what attracts the world’s attention and interest. Americans are looking forward to this event, while the owners, Nigerians, are busy bullshitting, big time!!! I would love anybody to challenge my views on all this…No Bullshitting!!!!!!!!!

Please share, and let Nigerians know the truth.

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