As Nigeria mourns Sen Isaiah Balat, the Special Adviser to Vice-President Namadi Sambo on Special Duties, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kaduna has said that his death was a “huge blow” to its fold.
“It is difficult to recover from this very huge blow; Balat was our pillar in Kaduna, Mr Joseph Gumbari, PDP Chairman, Kaduna South Senatorial District, said on Sunday in Jos.
“He was our godfather, our founder, our benefactor and a very good mobiliser”, Gumbari told the News Agency of Nigeria.
The late politician was a PDP governorship aspirant in Kaduna State in 2007 and had served as a senator from 2003 to 2007.
He said Balat’s demise had created a huge leadership vacuum that would be difficult to fill.
“It will be difficult to replace Balat; we looked up to him for financial and moral support; he was always very composed and organised, even when some of us shivered over challenges”.
Gumbari said that Balat’s life style was worthy of emulation by all, especially his deep commitment toward a better life for the poor.
He said that Balat never discriminated along party lines in measures he adopted to improve the living standards of the poor.
“His goal was always to create situations where people were self-reliant; he never showed any differences when empowering people to fend for themselves.
“He criticised leaders that believed in petty handouts to the poor because he believed that such handouts will make the recipients rather slavish and too dependent on others.
“His idea of a developed society was one in which the people can afford their square meals and meet their basic needs.
“So the thrust of his political philosophy was on achieving that”, he told NAN.