From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development Dame Pauline Tallen, former Plateau State governorship candidate General Jeremiah Useni and Air Commodore Dan Suleiman have all expressed sadness over the death of the late former Chief of Defence Staff and former Minister of Defence, General Domkat Bali.
Speaking in Abuja at a service organised the COCIN church in honour of the late senior military officer, Tallen described the late Bali as a detribalised Nigerian who associated and helped people from different religions and regions.
The former deputy governor said Bali was a pillar of support when she lost her husband and constantly checked up on her.
Esther Bali, the wife of the late ex-defence minister, said she had dreamt about her late husband flowing in a white garment, signifying, according to her, that he is with God.
Narrating how they started as husband and wife in 1969, Mrs Bali noted that that the journey was rough and tough but that they were able to surmount rigorous times through patience, love, endurance and perseverance.
The late General Bali, who was a member of Nigeria’s Supreme Military Council between 1984 and 1985, and the Armed Forces Ruling Council from 1985 to 1990, died on Friday, December 4, after a brief illness, at the age of 80.
General Bali was Joint Chief of Staff between 1984 and 1985 when President Muhammadu Buhari was the military Head of State. The octogenarian retired as a decorated military officer in 1990. In December 2010, he emerged as Ponzhi Tarok, the paramount ruler of the Langtang in Plateau State.
In his sermon eulogising the late military man, the Chairman, RCC Abuja/PCC Zaria, Rev Chrysanthus Bala John, lamented how security operatives responsible for the protection of citizens are being abducted and killed on a daily basis.
‘If the military and the police who are securing us are being killed on a daily basis, tell me, who is safe? Sorry! I’m very sorry, sorry for ourselves! The people who are responsible for our defence are being killed on daily basis,’ he stated.
‘You travel you are not sure of your safe return; you are at home, you are not safe; so, where do we go? Our hearts are troubled. Let us tell ourselves the truth! Some of you would not say it because if you say it, you are putting sand in your Gari. We are troubled and our hearts are troubled.
‘If innocent students in a secondary school could be kidnapped, people looking for ransom kidnapping innocent children, it is really unfortunate. Widows and orphans are on the increase; Nigeria, where are we heading to? Our hearts are troubled.
‘The economy of the country is in a reverse. There is hunger in the land! Kidnapping all over! Different attacks, banditry all over Nigeria! Our hearts are troubled. Where do we go? Is the government of this country sincere about tackling this problem? I’m asking a question.
‘Remember that everyone would stand and give accounts of his stewardship in front of his lord. Our hearts are troubled with happenings in Nigeria.’
Other dignitaries at the occasion apart included: Chief of Defence Staff Abayomi Olonisakin; his wife, Mrs Omobolanle Olonisakin; Chief of Naval Staff Air Vice Marshal Ibas; and the Chairman, House Committee on Science, Mrs Beni Lar.
Scores of women from Lantang, Langtang North of Plateau State, the hometown of the late Gen Domkat Bali, also thrilled guests with cultural songs.