This is Gen Domkat Bali’s birthday week. I have promised myself that no matter how busy I get this week I must felicitate him. His likes do not come often. He is a gentleman of noble character.
Bali , the Langtang man of arms was born on 27 March 1940. He is 80 years old today.
I was opportuned to have interviewed him on a number of occasions when he served in the Nigerian army. And this was a momentous period. He joined the army in the early years of self rule, saw the civil war and witness the crisis of leadership that plagued Nigeria thereafter.
Coup today, coup tomorrow General Bali agonized as the Nigeria Army got politicized and lost it’s fighting edge and indiscipline became an epaulet among its men.
As many will attest , Gen Bali in the face of all this , served his fatherland diligently and with grit. He is the quintessential officer and gentleman.
A delight to interview in those days. He will give you straight from the hips. He never politicked. Whatever comes out of his mouth is from the heart.
The Nigeria army , he once warned was declining. He cried out about the corrupting influence on the institution by its involvement in politics and governance. He lamented officers living way beyond their means and driving to work in sports cars their true earnings could not afford .
In his days as a young officer such cars , he said, would have been impounded and such officers dumped in the guard room until they purge themselves of such ethos.
He and later Gen Ishola Williams were the conscience of Nigeria’s military. Incorruptible either by power or lucre he was.
Happy birthday General of Generals.