Esther Bali, the widow of General Domkat Bali, says contrary to falsehood surrounding the Ponzhi Tarok stool, her husband declined to be made the traditional ruler of the community.
She disclosed this at a public presentation of the Book “Gen. Domkat Yah Bali As Ponzhi Tarok Designate: A Contextual Analysis of the Imbroglio, 1990-2020” on Sunday night in Abuja.
The widow said that the book was meant to set the record straight regarding the falsehood and rumours on the stool, in the buildup to the deceased selection and appointment as Ponzhi Tarok-designate.
“The book is sequel to my discussion with a respected elder statesman who is in the know regarding the false rumours that were circulated regarding my husband which he brought to my attention.
“The privileged information greatly motivated me to set the record straight for historical benefit of the present and succeeding generations,” she said.
She said that the backdrop of the development was characterised by all sorts of rumours, lies, deceit among others, adding that Nigerians must always keep records to help document the truth.
“As a realist, my husband initially declined their offer to be Ponzhi Tarok with humility and all sense of responsibility bearing in mind his declining health condition.”
Bali said the deceased admitted that his health would not enable him to execute effectively the duties of the occupant of the Ponzhi Tarok stool.
She said that her husband however presented the Tarok kingmakers with an alternative candidate, whom he could vouch for, but was rejected in their wisdom insisting on his selection.
“As they insisted, the Plateau government published a new gazette, which did not follow due process in order to install him but the installation was not possible until his death.”
She said that due to two restraining court orders, he followed due process and informed the Plateau government of his desire to resign which they accepted officially.
The widow said, thereafter, he immediately and honorably relinquished the position while urging the government to begin the process that would lead to the emergence of Ponzhi Tarok.
Prince Adewale Adebayo, who presented the book to the public, said that the book was a continuation of the life of Gen. Domkat Bali, adding that he lived as a poet, “and there was no ambiguity for Gen Bali”.
Adebayo said that though the book “is small but it’s about principle and justice”, adding, “when you do justice, even a poor country will live in peace.”
He, however, bought 2000 copies, adding that he would take a cue from it to also set some records straight in his community.
Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, retired Air Comdr Dan Suleiman, said the book was important because it gave the true version of what transpired during the imbroglio.
Suleiman, who was a former military governor of Plateau, said the account of the event needed to be told because of the controversy that trailed it.
“The general took everything in his stride; through the confusion, he held his head high, even if it dragged his name to the mud.
“He has always stood for truth, justice and integrity, and I am very privileged to be the chairman of this occasion,” he said.
Bali, who died on December 5, 2020, at the age of 80, would have been 82 on Jan. 27, and he was remembered at the event.
Dignitaries present included representative of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, former military president, Mrs. Victoria Gowon, Mother of the Day, retired Lt.-Gen. Jerry Oseni, Dr. Jerry Gana, former Information Minister, retired Vice-Admiral, Murtala Nyako, former Governor of Adamawa.