A nation, people with no staying power

I love Nigeria; we are largely a people with a short fuse memory, preferring to largely forget very quickly from a point of learning slowly. We either never remember or we choose to totally forget. We are a nation that has no staying power. We do not have the staying power to push through an issue or go through substance, our strength or determination to keep going until we reach the end of any matter is lacking.

Our deficit in staying power is deadly and often at the root of many of the problems we face. A cursory look at our conflicts will show you reports of commission of enquiries. Committees’ reports litter everywhere and no one has the political will to see them through. How many high profile killings (whether Bola Ige or Dokuboh) have we just glossed over and just moved on? No staying power.

Our case is just like the case of a  mocking bird. They said, ‘Mocking bird, you are accused of insulting the king.’ It wondered when it would ever have time to insult the king, seeing that it must sing 200 songs in the morning, 200 in the afternoon, and 200 at night, mixing it all up with some frolicsome notes.

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Like xenophobia or something Lai Mohammed said or did not say, in the midst of it all, we are best battling each other along religious, ethnic and party lines. The divides, dichotomies and compartmentalization keep growing, like the Mocking bird making unnecessary excuses and noise.

We forget that only in 1994, England banned Nigeria Airways for missing their landing schedule at Gatwick Airport. Nigeria’s Head of State, Sani Abacha quickly banned British Airways from flying into Nigeria. Due to the fact that Nigeria was a major market for them, they lifted the ban.

We forget quickly that because of no staying power we lost it all. As recently as 1997, air services between the United Kingdom and Nigeria were suspended in early June as a reciprocal ban of British and Nigerian registered aircraft assumed wider political implications.

It was patriotically gratifying to read the Wall Street Journal headline, ‘Nigeria bans British Airways in continued aviation dispute’.

One of the main reasons for our continuous failure is a lack of persistence. We live in a society where almost everything is “instant” and available on tap. This, “instant” mentality robs many of us of the lucrative advantages of critical thinking and opporunity to follow through on issues and subject of national importance.

We are not able to grind something out until the desired outcome is achieved. Nigeria as a nation and her people have poor persistence; the leadership and the people are birds of same plumage; There are reasons aplenty, excuses abound why things cannot be done.

 Prince Charles Dickson PhD