It’s been a while since I voraciously read a work by a Nigerian author without dropping it until I’m done. This book was not only well written, but I could also relate to it 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 the Limits (How to Create Epic Results in Life and Business ), is indeed one of the moments of shared learning and learning.

The book has 43 chapters, 307 pages and it is 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 have heard myself asking what the Nigerian mind is spinning on and as a cautious optimist on the Nigerian project, what is the unseen? As we head into 2023, what does our mind hold? If Nigeria was a puzzle, is there a missing link? 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 northern state of Uttar. It was not the first time. In 1999, there was a resignation.

David Cameron resigned in June 2016 after the UK voted to leave the European Union. Britain’s then prime minister announced his resignation, following Leave supporters’ victory after a divisive referendum campaign, abruptly ending his six-year term after the British public made the decision capital to reject his pleas and turn his back on the European Union.

David Cameron has also stepped down 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! So the question is, in Usar’s words, to succinctly shape reality…as we go, nothing is new. When we listen, we hear a cacophony of noise, the thoughts are frightening. Lenses are smudged, visuals blurry, and perception is hazy. For a nation and a people who cannot agree on one thing. Leaders are stiff-necked and followers are driven by primal feelings. We don’t quit, because there’s no remorse. No one takes responsibility.

When I watch the debate over where the next president comes from, I borrow heavily from Usar’s caveat that a map is not the territory. Our difficult differences and the odds, among many other factors, have left us with a nation where its people simply cannot face 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 Pastor Tunde Bakare vs. Igbo nation and reactions in the battle circa 2023, it is evident that this nation is not ready for the mental overhaul when watching and listening to those seeking political office.

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

The Nigerian draft lacks the essential teamwork that Usar alludes to. The Chrisland School sex tape makes the latter part of the book a treasure. I wondered, how do we measure on the integrity scale and where is the vulnerability in parenting? Does this generation go through motions, 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, certainly knows that if we use his Epic Results Matrix, there is a huge difference in rhetoric and political realities. We are again on the way to a chance, the country called Nigeria is at another stage. Are we building rafts to get us through this level or are these people constantly and consciously destroying everything we represent.

What do we stand for, who are we, what really works in Nigeria? We are tortured by banditry, terror, kidnappings and murders by unknown armed men. Every section of the country is terrified and our economy is in free fall, but no one is bold enough to say that a nation that would normally create epic results across the globe is a minnow besieged 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, “that to hide information from the black man, put it in a book”.

We lose it. It is necessary that many usars of this nation stand up and be counted. Very little makes Nigerians smile these days, but with Innocent Usar’s book, I see the resilience, the Nigerian spirit of never saying die. We may still be able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, because as it stands, the story of the barracks boy sounds like a story told once upon a time in Niagara Falls. I’m afraid we didn’t start well. But can we end well? Only time will tell.

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