Domkat Bali Dies At 80. Buhari, Atiku Mourn

A former Minister of Defence and Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Nigerian Armed Forces, General Domkat Bali, is dead.

He held the position during the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida (IBB).

Since he quit the army in 1990, Bali kept a low profile, spending his time in private business and also minding the paramount traditional stool of the Langtang people of Plateau State.

In December 2010, Bali became the Ponzhi Tarok, the paramount ruler of the ethnic group. 


Domkat Bali 

Domkat Yah Bali (born 27 February 1940) is the Ponzhi Tarok since December, 2010. He is a retired four-star General of the Nigerian Army. He was Minister of Defence and member of the Supreme Military Council of 1984–1985, and the Armed Forces Ruling Council of 1985–1990. Bali joined the Nigerian Army in 1961 and is a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

Domkat Bali was born in Langtang, Plateau State to the family of Hassan Bali Tabut and Yinkat Bali. He had his primary education at Mban, Langtang and from 1955 to 1960, he attended the provincial secondary school at Kuru. He undertook further military courses at Camberley, London.

He entered Nigerian Military Training College in 1961 and in 1964, he was a lieutenant and troop commander. Bali became captain a year later in 1965. In 1966, he was battery commander and during the Nigerian Civil War, he was a regimental commander. He was made major in 1968. 

Between 1970 and 1971, Bali was commander, Corps of Artillery and later became a colonel at the Second Infantry Division in Ibadan. In 1973, he was posted to Akure as the commander of the 9th Infantry Brigade, he was adjutant general Nigerian army in 1975, commander Corps of Artillery in 1976 and in 1978, he was the GOC of the First Infantry Division, Kaduna. 

Prior to becoming Defence Minister in 1984, he was Commandant of the Nigerian Armed Forces Command and Staff College from 1981 to 1983 and later director of army training and operations.

He resigned from the army on January 10, 1990 . He was the Chairman of HFP Engineering, builders of Victoria Garden City, Lagos Nigeria. He is married to Esther Bali an educationist and they have two children, Nanna and Ponfa. 


President Buhari, Atiku mourn 

“President Muhammadu Buhari condoles with the people and government of Plateau State over the passing of an illustrious son and highly decorated retired military officer, Gen. Domkat Bali, who served the country as Minister of Defence.

“The President, who spoke with the wife of the deceased, Esther on Friday, also commiserated with other family members, friends and professional associates of the former member of the Supreme Military Council and Armed Forces Ruling Council, after rising through the ranks, with a distinguished military career, reaching the peak as Chief of Defence Staff.

“President Buhari believes the records of bravery and patriotism of Gen. Bali, the Ponzhi Tarok, will continue to inspire young military officers, while the foundation he laid in all the commands he headed will always be remembered.

“The President has also constituted a delegation led by the Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (retd.) to visit the family, and condole with government and people of the state over the loss.

“President Buhari prays that the almighty God will receive the soul of the departed and comfort his family.” 


Gen. Domkat Bali, former Minister of Defence, had a distinguished career as a soldier and administrator. His demise has robbed Nigeria of an experienced soldier and a statesman. He will be sorely missed. May his soul rest in peace. 

On behalf of my family, I condole with his family and the people and government of Plateau State. 

Atiku Abubakar

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