At every stage of our lives, we build rafts to take us from one level to another – Pushing the Limits (How to Create Epic Results in Life and Business). By Innocent Usar

It’s been a while since I voraciously read a work by a Nigerian author without dropping it, until I was done, because not only was it well written, but because I could identify with him, and it made me think again about the construction called Nigeria.

I’m not sure exactly what the driving force behind Innocent Usar was, but for barracks-raised boy-turned-big-man, the journey through the book Pushing Through Limits (How to Create Epic Results in Life and business), is indeed shared learning and teachable moments, 43 chapters, 307 pages, well designed around six parts, I can’t choose which is my best part.

Reading part one reinforced my learning that Nigeria is where we are today because our leaders and citizens (A) do not have a conscious mind and (B) do not know the power of a conscious mind. I found myself asking, what does the Nigerian mind run on? And as a cautious optimist on the Nigerian project, what is unseen? As we head into 2023, what does our mind hold? If Nigeria was a puzzle, is there a missing piece, or is it a puzzle gone completely wrong? A nation of people who just run “kitikiti and katakata”.

So let me share this, in February 2019, Egypt’s transport minister resigned, following a fatal train crash in Cairo that killed at least 25 people and left dozens injured. In India, the administrative chief of the national railways, AK Mittal, resigned in August 2017, after two train derailments in five days in the state of Uttar, in the north of the country, it was not the first time, in 1999, there was also a resignation.

David Cameron resigned in June 2016 after Britain voted to leave the European Union. The then Prime Minister announced his resignation, after Leave supporters won after a divisive referendum campaign, abruptly ending his six-year term as Prime Minister, after the British public took the momentous decision to reject his pleas and turn his back on the European Union.

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

In Nigeria, there are no borders, there are no limits, our mind is not aware of it! The question then is, in Usar’s words, to shape reality succinctly… as we go on nothing is new, when we listen we hear a cacophony of noise, the thoughts are frightening. Glasses are smudged, visuals blurry and perception is hazy, for a nation and people who can’t agree on one thing. Stiff-necked leaders, followers guided by primordial feelings. We don’t quit, because there’s no remorse. No one takes responsibility.

When I look at the debate over the origin of the next president, I borrow copiously from Usar’s caveat that a map is not the territory, our difficult differences and the odds, among many other factors, left us a nation where its people cannot simply face the hard truths.

The story told by Usar in the Chronicles of a Barracks Boy, before he launches into a discussion of language, can best be understood when we look at the recent brouhaha between the attacks of Apostle Sulieman and the Pastor Bakare against the Igbo nation and the reactions, all in the battle circa 2023, it is evident that this nation is not ready for a mental overhaul when one watches and listens to the aftermath of those seeking political office.

A nation and people trapped in a whirlwind of nothingness, and the atmosphere in between is why the government is struggling to explain the pardon it has granted within the bounds of constitutional power, but which has ripple effects .

The Nigerian draft lacks the essential teamwork that Usar alludes to. Chrisland’s sex tape makes the last part of the book a treasure, I wondered, how do we measure on the scale of integrity, where is the vulnerability in parenting, is this the generation to go through movements, where most decisions are made with the fear of missing out, in other words, rather than getting it right, we’re probably tripping over a pedestal.

Innocent, a master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming, surely knows that if we use his epic results matrix, there is a huge difference in political rhetoric and realities, we are on the way to a chance again, the country called Nigeria is at another stage, are we building rafts to get us through that level or are these people who are constantly and consciously destroying everything we stand for.

What do we stand for, who are we, what really works in Nigeria? We are tortured by banditry, terror and kidnappings, murders by unknown gunmen, every part of the country is terrified and our economy is in free fall, but no one is bold enough to say that a nation that should normally creating epic results across the globe is a minnow beset in every corner?

Pushing Through Boundaries is the book every Nigerian leader should read, every citizen should read, with a pen by his side to take notes. Unfortunately, what do we still say, “only to hide information from the black man, put it in a book”.

We are losing it, there is a need for the many ‘Usars’ of this nation to stand up and be counted, very little makes Nigerians smile these days, but with Innocent Usar’s book, I see resilience again , the Nigerian spirit of never saying die, we may still be able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat because as things stand the story of the barracks boy seems like a tale told once upon a time in Niagara Falls, I’m afraid we didn’t start well, can we end well? – Only time will tell.

*** By Prince Charles Dickson

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