The Untold Political Story Of Late Hon. Victor Bala Kona

The Untold Political Story Of Late Hon. Victor Bala Kona

“I started politics in 1987 and I am 33 years old in it, I am the oldest politician in Taraba in this present generation of politicians across the state, I am one of the oldest and most senior of them all, 33 years wealth of experience is not 33 months. In all these years I have been a kingmaker and anybody I stand for becomes victorious, I think that is why the governor said I am a victorious victor.”  He told Worldview Magazine reporters in 2020.

That was a summarized story of the Late Hon. Victor Bala Kona the Garkuwa of Bakundi who was born in Bakin Dutse Village of Ardo kola LGA of Taraba state. Victor Bala Kona has always been victorious in all his endeavors. He has been a kingmaker and anybody he stands for usually succeeds. Victor Bala had been a successful international businessman for 35 years. He has also been in politics of Taraba State for 36 years as of 2023 before his death and 33 years in 2020 and the oldest politician in the present generation of politicians across the state and in all these he has remained a victorious victor.

The political demagogue had been the PDP chairman in Taraba State from 17 March 2012 to 2020. Before he became the PDP chairman he was the founding chairman of the number one party, the United Nigerian Congress Party (UNCP) in Taraba state. This made the job a wakeover for him as he had acquainted himself with all the knits gritty of the office especially since the office needs someone who is experienced with vast knowledge of the polity of the environment or territory to which he is leading the party.

As the UNPC chairman of Taraba State, Bala Kona was familiar with all the terrains of the state. As such he was able to sail through the tides as he led the party to win all the then 16 House of Assembly seats in the state. The party also won the Local Government elections in 1999 and 1997 and repeated the same in 1998 respectively with two senatorial seats, the Southern Zone and the Central Zone. Analysts and researchers also agreed that the Bala Kona-led team lost the Northern Zone to the Former Governor Rev Jolly Nyame who was then in DPN because there was little disagreement between members of the party in the zone.

Furthermore, the victorious Victor as he is fondly addressed by Governor Ishaku acquired his victorious experience when he was a member of ANPP. He was among the people who started the party and was at the helm of the affairs of the party all the time. After the merger with UNP, Bala being an accountant by profession was elected the Assistant Financial Secretary in the National Executive Council. He was later appointed as the Deputy National Welfare Secretary of the ANPP before he finally joined the PDP in March 2007 when a governorship ticket was given to his bosom friend of blessed memory the Late Pharm. Danbaba Suntai the former governor of the state.

Indigenes and people of Ardo-kola will attest that before the former Taraba State PDP chairman came to the party the party hardly won elections in the area. His entry as the chairman and victorious fortune gave victories in the area a sharp dramatic turn as victory became easier for the PDP in the area. He eventually became a stakeholder, Youth Leader of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s campaign team in 2010, and a team campaign member of Late Danbaba Danfulani Suntai. His tireless efforts in conjunction with others delivered Late Pharm. Danbaba Danfulani Suntai victory in 2011.

When Victor Bala Kona became the Taraba State PDP chairman in 2012 it was more or less telling him to go and do the same thing he had done before. “It was no longer a strange thing, the secret of victory was no longer strange to me because if I could win an election in the military era, both state and national coming back to repeat what I did after knowing the terrain of the state, I knew it would not be a difficult challenge to me”. He told reporters.

Immediately after Bala assumed office in March 2012 the state organized the local government elections in May 2012 the party won all 16 Local Government elections in the state. This brought a lot of controversies where different people argued that because the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) belongs to the state government that is why he was able to achieve that success. By September 2012 when Victor was just six months in office, there emerged a bye-election to replace the member representing Kurmi, Late Hon. Ishaku Audu of blessed memory the election was the second conducted by the victor in his new office and he won.

The then Governor Pharm Danbaba Danfulani Suntai had a plane crash and an acting governor was sworn in. This big slap could not deter the victor as he was able to win all the subsequent bye-elections conducted in Yorro and Takum to replace the late councilors and the Speaker of Taraba State House of Assembly, Late Haruna Tsokwa in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

The toughest time in his political leadership career was in 2015. When the Acting Governor who was the leader of his party in the state was not giving him the required cooperation because he stood against his ambition of confirmation, this led to a lot of controversies until the judgments of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, this immediately let a lot to swung in to campaign for the 2015 general elections. Here too, the result proved positive as his party was able to win 15 House of Assembly seats leaving only 9 to the different opposition parties. The seats they lost, analysts confirmed that it was a result of a little fracas between members concerning the candidature of the governorship candidate.

Apparently before the end of that tenure, Victor Bala-led leadership was able to woo 4 out of the 9 opposition seats back to the party and PDP celebrated 19 out of 24 House of Assembly Seats in the state. In addition to the two senatorial districts which they had also won overwhelmingly.
The party initially won all three senatorial seats, but the APC was not convinced by the result and so approached the court. The judgment ended in the party’s favor and its claim of the mandate. Leaving PDP with only two seats.

That is not all, in 2019, Bala led the PDP in all the general elections and his party the PDP came out victorious as it won both the Northern and Southern Senatorial seats in the state, leaving only the Central Zone for the APC, no wonder, His Excellency Arch. Darius Dickson Ishaku most often addresses this versatile political demagogue as a victorious victor.

Victorious Victor then handed over the party’s mantle of leadership to Col. Kefas Dantala Agbu Rtd. But he was still in top shape after heading over the mantle of leadership, capable and willing to provide a support base for the party at any time of its need.

But looking at the King’s mouth, one will hardly think he ever suckled his mother’s breast. This perception is apt with this political giant, the Victorious Victor Bala. He is from a humble background, but his father saw the greatness in the young Victor.

“My father named me Victor, he derived the name from his good friend who was a half-cast. They went to the same school together in Gindiri. My Father's friend was more privileged and he was good to my father. He was always coming to my father’s aid and even encouraged him to remain in school. It took my father three weeks to trek to his school in Plateau State for his secondary education and seven days to trek to Yola for middle school. When he gave birth to me, he named me after his friend Victor, That is how I got my name and I think that is how God destined it to be. Since he gave me that name I have always been victorious in my endeavors, I have been a successful international businessman for 35 years and all through I have been successful" He said

The story of Victor Bala Kona might be too short or not worth enough for everyone, but legacies and history will still be here to talk about his great impact, history, and great work he has done in Taraba Politics including the people he has aided during his lifetime, although it might be forgotten easily but it will remain imprinted to each soul that had come across his gratitude and humanitarian blessings.

For more additions, comments, or suggestions to the story above, kindly send an email to

Originally written by Jethro Yerga of Worldview Magazine in 2020, rewritten, edited, and proofread by Jeremiah Genesis Ezra.

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