Opinion

A nation without boundaries, and sad outcomes

By Prince Charles Dickson PhD

At each stage in our life, we build rafts to get us from one level to another—Pushing through boundaries (How to create epic outcomes in life and business)

— Innocent Usar

It has been a while since I read voraciously a work by a Nigerian author without dropping it, till I was done, because not only was it well written but because I could relate with it, and it made me reflect again on the construct called Nigeria.

I do not know exactly what was the driving force for Innocent Usar, but for the barracks raised lad turned great man, the journey through the book Pushing through boundaries (How to create epic outcomes in life and business) indeed is one of shared learning and teachable moments, 43 chapters, 307 pages, well-crafted around six parts, I cannot pick out which is my best part.

Reading through the first part reinforced my learning that Nigeria is where we are today because our leaders and citizens (A) do not have an aware mind, and (B) do not know the power of an aware mind. I saw myself asking what does the Nigerian mind run on, and as a cautious optimist on the Nigerian project, what is the unseen, as we head towards 2023, what does our mind hold, if Nigeria was a puzzle, is there a missing piece, or it is a jigsaw all completely gone wrong, a nation of people just running “kitikiti and katakata”.

So, let me share this, in Feb 2019 Egypt’s transport minister resigned following a deadly train crash in Cairo that killed at least 25, leaving scores injured. In India, the administrative head of the nation’s railways, AK Mittal, resigned in Aug 2017 after two train derailments in five days in the northern state of Uttar, it was not the first time, sometime in 1999, there was a resignation too.

David Cameron resigned in June 2016 after the UK votes to leave the European Union. The then PM announced resignation following victory for leave supporters after a divisive referendum campaign, bringing an abrupt end to his six-year premiership, after the British public took the momentous decision to reject his entreaties and turn their back on the European Union.

Same David Cameron resigned as chairman of the advisory board to the Afiniti software company after its founder was accused of sexual harassment and assault in November 2021.

In Nigeria, there are no boundaries, there are no limits, our mind is not aware! The question then, is in Usar’s words succinctly shaping reality…as we move along, nothing is new, when one listens, we hear a cacophony of noise, the thoughts are scary. The glasses are stained, visuals blurred, and perception is vague, for a nation and people that cannot agree on one thing. Leaders that are stiff necked, followers that are guided by primordial sentiments. We do not resign, because there is no remorse. No one holds up to his responsibility.

When I look at the debate on where the next President should come from, I borrow copiously from Usar’s word of caution that a map is not the territory, our difficult differences, and the odds, amongst many other factors, has left us a nation where her people cannot simply deal with the hard truths.

The story told by Usar in chronicles of a barracks boy before he embarks on discussing language can be best understood when we look at the recent brouhaha between Apostle Sulieman, and Pastor Bakare’s attacks on the Igbo nation and the reactions all in the battle towards 2023, it is obvious that this nation is not ready for a mental repatterning when one watches and listens to the retinue of those seeking political offices.

A nation and people trapped in a whirlwind of nothingness, and the in-between atmosphere is why the government is battling to explain pardon that it granted within the limits of constitutional power but one that has ripple effects.

The Nigerian project lacks the essentials of teamwork that Usar alludes to. The Chrisland Sex-tape makes the last part of the book a treasure, I asked myself, how are we measuring on the scale of integrity, where is the vulnerability in parenting, is this the generation of going through the motions, where most decisions are taken with the fear of missing out, in other words, rather than get it right, we probably are tripping on a pedestal.

Innocent, a master practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming certainly knows that if we use his Epic Outcomes Matrix, there is a huge difference in political rhetoric and realities, we are again on the one-chance journey, the country called Nigeria is at another stage, are we building rafts to get us pass this level or is it a case of a people that are consistently and consciously destroying all that we stand for.

What do we stand for, who are we, what really is working in Nigeria, we are tortured with banditry, terror, and abductions, killings by unknown gunmen, every section of the country is terrified, and our economy is on a nosedive, but no one is bold enough to say that a nation that should ordinarily be creating epic outcomes across the globe is a minnow, beset in all corners?

The book Pushing Through Boundaries is one that every Nigerian leader should read, every citizen must read, with a pen by his/her side taking notes. Sadly, what is it that we say again, “that to hide information from the black man, put it in a book”.

We are losing it, there is need for the many Usars of this nation to stand and be counted, very few things put a smile on the face of Nigerians these day, but with Innocent Usar’s book, I again see the resilience, the Nigerian never-say-die spirit, we may still be able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat because as it currently stands, the story of the barracks boy seems a story told once upon a time in Niagara Falls, I am afraid that we didn’t start well, can we end well—Only time will tell.

Prince Charles Dickson PhD is the Team Lead, The Tattaaunawa Roundtable Initiative (TRICentre)

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