Isaiah Balat: Adieu, the people’s pillar



Nigerians and indeed the people of Kaduna state, once again mourn the demise of another political icon, pillar and an illustrious citizen, Distinguished Senator Isaiah Balat, whose death was announced penultimate week. Balat, a native of Gora in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State and Presidential Adviser to Vice President Namadi Sambo died at the National Hospital in Abuja after a brief illness at the age of 62 years.

It is noteworthy that our faith is grounded in the Biblical injunction that “there is time for everything- time to be born, and time to die. God Almighty, who is the author of life, has set yet another time for sorrow and mourning. But our solace lies in the fact that He says; “What do we gain from our works? For me, I know that death is a sacrificial burden and pricee veryone must pay or pass through, whether big or small, man or woman, it has been ordained by God.
We are constantly saddled with a lot of worries in life ranging from poverty, unemployment, security, conflicts, sickness,etc, yet we seem not to be seeing the end while the struggle revolves around. The interesting aspect of life is the impact and legacy one leaves behind.

Isaiah Balat was a mentor to many Nigerian politicians today, and his attributes and legacies have no doubt depicted his ability, capability and integrity in Nigerian politics. His political ruggedness and emancipation has brought fruit, purpose and result oriented spirit in Southern Kaduna. His political mental alertness and uncommon passion to place Kaduna state on a speed lane of development has left no one in doubt about his political desire.

It is also imperative to note, that, like every other state in the country,Balat as a political giant fought gallantly to sustain the political ideology of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which has become entrenched in the consciousness of Nigerians.
He was a heavy-weight, champion of love for people, irrespective of ethnic, religious or political inclinations; dedicated and committed to atmosphere of peace, love and mutual respect to build on the gains and legacies of past heroes in order to profound hope and expectations that before long the destiny of choice would be the result of hard work.
Unfortunately, the God’s appointed trumpet have sounded and off he goes, like a stranger who had gone to a market place to shop and return to our Creator?

Senator Isaiah Balat was a man who believed in dialogue, justice and fairness in reformation that will reinvigorate the dreams and aspirations of the upcoming youth. No wonder his political associates said they are proud of his pace setting spirit.
His ardent political and social spirit has propelled manpower development which is very crucial to growth in every community as he was always encouraging congenial working relationship with all manner of people.
Nigeria and particularly Kaduna state would miss Balat for his boldness and enduring political spirit towards inspiring future that many observers see as rallying pointnas far as Nigerian politics is concerned.

Mother Theresa said “If you want a lamp to keep burning, you must keep putting oil in it”. In 2012, precisely on December 15, Kaduna state lost one its great icon and hope, Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, in plane crash; and now on February 18, 2014 another political pillar is gone. The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev. (Dr.) Matthew Hassan Kukah, on December 20, 2012 challenged the people of southern Kaduna that “despite the clouds of fear, anxiety and uncertainty, we must not give in to self doubt and prejudice. We have lost a dear son, but we have not lost a future. Indeed the future that lies ahead is far brighter now than any time”.

His words were very resounding and food for thought, but little did we know that another storm was on the way.
There is need for people to put these sad incidents behind them and reflect on the political and ethnic wrangling that stifle the progress and development of the zone and form a common front that would reignite the recovery of its lost glory.

This is the time, because of the abundant human and material resources and all the potentials available that needed to move Kaduna state and Nigeria to greater heights, so that the burning lamp lit by Balat would not go off.

The likes of late Yakowa and Balat have laid solid political foundation that would not only galvanize the interest of the upcoming politicians in the zone, but would also promote sustainable and long lasting features in the country.  They came, they saw,they conquered, and their legacies abound.

The political history of Nigeria will also not be complete without making references to the selfless and flourishing services rendered by these two gentle and departed heroes. The realities are here and the expectations are high as the searchlight for similar people to reckon with beams on Southern Kaduna citizens.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace, amen!

Osu wrote from Barnawa, Kaduna.

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