Sunday, September 19, 2021

The Call

By Abubakar D. Sani, Esq.

On the 28th day of March, 2015;
Nigerians kept a date with destiny;
Nigeria, a country with such potential;
But, sadly, with a predilection to falter

On that day, its people went to the polls;
To elect a president their manifest goal;
To contrast between the candidates couldn’t have been starker;
In terms of style, programs and persona

The run-up had been like no other;
Simple because, many had, by then, run for cover;
‘To your tents, O Israel’ seemed to be the mood;
Given the prevailing tension and prophesies of doom

At home and abroad few gave Nigeria any chance;
As everyone seemed to think these elections would tear it apart;
With good reason, it has to be said, given the bitter rhetoric -
Between the two main parties, the PDP and the APC

One party with much to prove was the electoral umpire;
Its credibility, ever so fragile, was yet to recover -
From its perceived unpreparedness which made it to yield -
To the Army’s demand to shift the polls by all of six weeks

Also about to be tested was the technology – card readers and all;
In them, INEC – the umpire – had asked us to put our trust;
That they would be the nemesis of many a would-be rigger;
And multiple voting would be a thing of the past

And so it was that the day came to pass;
The die was cast, as out came the voters;
But the real stars were the election umpire;
And the two main rivals - Buhari and President Jonathan

As the results trickled in from the 36-odd States;
It became clear that the momentum had swung Buhari’s way;
Just three more States and it would be all over;
Surely the writing was on the wall – why wait much longer?

The entire country was on a knife’s-edge – no exaggeration;
How would the loser react – with grace or rejection?;
But we did not have to wait too long to discover;
For providence, ever so gracious, was around the corner

As the statesman in President Jonathan came to the fore;
Promptly, without a fuss, to Buhari he placed a call:
‘Congratulations’, he said; ‘You have won’;
Leaving Buhari – presumably – befuddled, incredulous

But, genuine, the concession was to prove;
As a consequence, the prevailing tension quickly cooled;
And world leaders – regional and continental s–
Fell over themselves to applaud President Jonathan

For a display of sportsmanship – so rare in these parts –
That foreigners had been poised to leave Nigeria en masse
But it was not to be, as Nigeria had survived intact;
An outcome only the most optimistic could have forecast

Leaving the question: what prompted President Jonathan to make that call?
Was it altruism, statesmanship, sportsmanship or what?
The answer, in truth, must be all of the above
As any other view will simply not hold

For there comes a time in the life of every man;
When, no matter how deeply he feels that he can;
No matter the altruism of his personal ambitions -
He must realize that there is yet a nobler cause

That cause is an ideal – it is called ‘selflessness’
It is the belief that we should always place others above ourselves;
That, faced with a choice between the self, a part and the whole -
The collective stands tall as the preferred goal

What lesson, then, in this for us and the rest of the world?;
That we are all better off when we learn to put others first;
And nowhere is this truer that at the level of nations;
Where such choices often decide the fate of millions

© May, 2015 Abubakar D. Sani, Esq.,, +2348034533892