Come to my rescue…D. K. Poison cries out to government

dkFORMER World Boxing Council featherweight champion, David Kotei Poison, lives in despair over inability to have his fight purse of 45,000 dollars he allegedlyloaned to government paid to him.

D.K. Poison, as he was affectionately called by fans, said as a retired boxer he has been compelled to live on charity since things have not been very good after hanging up his gloves.

He said the nation could show gratitude for his meritorious service in raising the national flag high while promoting Ghana on international platforms at a time most countries in Africa were suffering from bad global image.

Speaking with emotion-choked voice, the boxing legend poured out his feelings when he paid a courtesy call on Oblempong Nii Kojo Ababio, Ngleshie Alata (James Town) Mantse who incidentally was a member of the Boxing Board of Control at the time D.K. Poison emerged as world champion.

Narrating how the country ended up owing him, D.K. Poison said when he was crowned as world champion in a fight between him and Reuben Olivares on September 20, 1975, he suddenly became a national icon, hero, and an asset and was subsequently managed that way.

He said it was on that basis that he agreed that45,000 dollars out of his 75,000 dollars purse be used to import tinned-fish after his fight with Fukuyama in Japan.

D.K. Poison said, he agreed to the deal because then, the tinned-fish was an essential commodity in Ghana while the country was also faced with foreign exchange challenges.

He said when the entourage however returned to Ghana, he was paid an equivalent of 30,000 dollars meaning that the amount used in importing the tinned-fish still remained outstanding.

D.K. Poison said many attempts to subsequently have his money paid back to him proved futile despite many appeals until the then government was ousted out of office.

He said, he has since carried his plea to various government leaderships with the latest being a meeting with President John Mahama in March last year.

He said the President directed his Chief of Staff, which has usually been the routine, to see how best the issue could be resolved.

D.K. Poison said up to the time of meeting with Oblempong, nothing has emerged out of that meeting, while he continued to suffer the fate of a pauper.

He said it was worth noting that, no government has disputed his claim, yet no government has either made any commitment to have the matter settled even if it meant being paid in instalments.

D.K. Poison said footballers currently enjoy all the attention with fat bonuses which could be used to settle his money.

“I have not earned that much but rather lent my sweat money to a nation just to be treated this way at the age when my means of survival is limited,” he said.

He said it was a fact that some governments have supported him; “however, my mind would not rest at peace until this injustice has been put right.”

D.K. Poison said that what was good for the geese is equally good for the gander, therefore the national leadership must treat his case as someone being charitable to one of its suffering heroes than treat as a debt being repaid.

Oblempong Kojo Ababio assured him that the government was a listening government and has shown concern for such matters.

“As you lament here today, and the reports get out to the world, it is my fervent prayer that the government would be moved to do something about your predicament,” he said.

Oblempong Nii Kojo Ababio commended the ex-boxer for keeping his head high despite all his challenges saying “Ghanaians will never forget you and your heroic achievements in clinching the first ever world title to Ghana.”

By Lawrence Markwei

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