Latest news that Ghana’s first ever world champion among all known sports disciplines, David Kotei (D.K.) Poison, is on his sick bed struggling to pay his medical bills, strongly suggests that he too could pass away like some of the nation’s numerous unsung heroes.
Apart from that, information pointing to the fact that the state, after burrowing his price money of $45,000 in 1976 to import tinned fish to cushion the economy, is yet to repay him, is nothing but shameful.
Even more insulting is the way successive governments have sheepishly looked on as the hero fought for his hardearned money for 42 long years, and had to be bailed out in July, 2016 by the World Boxing Council (WBC) with a paltry grant of $4, 800.
The above development and other issues indicate that government, and for that matter the people of Ghana, are just waiting patiently to ‘celebrate yet another death’.
THE PUBLISHER thinks allowing the man to die just like that would not only kill the patriotic spirit of the ordinary Ghanaian, but would also be an insult to our national psyche.
‘Poison’, it would be recalled, defeated Ruben Olivares in 1975 to become the World’s Featherweight Champion.
The media-shy former champion recently disclosed that Ignatius Kutu Acheampong’s government used part of his winning bonus, after defending his title against Japan’s Fuku Yama in 1976, to purchase tinned fish for the country.
It’s been 42 years now and his numerous appeals and petitions to successive governments seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.
D.K. Poison recalled that he contacted Jerry Rawlings about the money, but Mr. Nathan Kwao at the Office of the President, suggested to him that the mackerels were supposed to be gifts to the state.
He said he petitioned the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills about the same matter, but unfortunately steps initiated could not be completed before he (Mills) passed on.
Like Rawlings, Mahama reportedly referred the ailing boxer to his Chief of Staff, but that pretty much seemed to be the end of the story.
D.K, reports say, is currently hospitalized, and that he cries anytime he speaks about this issue.
THE PUBLISHER wants to put on record that the WBC grant of $4,800 was to help rehabilitate the former champion and had nothing to do with the $45,000 loan.
The paper is calling on the authorities to do something tangible about the situation, whether or not the loan/gift was properly documented by the Acheampong government.
After all, $45,000, plus any accrued interests, is peanuts to the state, considering the millions of cedis that are reportedly syphoned by officials of the Sports ministry.
Ghanaians will be watching patiently to see how this government too handles the story of this patriotic boxing legend.
Let’s remember that any crocodile tears after his death will be insignificant and unnecessary.