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Nigerians and the “na today” mentality, By Kelechi Deca

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Nigerians and the “na today” mentality, By Kelechi Deca

Nigerians and the “na today” mentality, By Kelechi Deca

NEWISSUES, Abuja

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According to a narration by Benjamin Hardy, despite turbulence and other conditions keeping airplanes off-course 90 percent of flight time, most flights arrive in the correct destination at the intended time.

The reason for this phenomenon is quite simple — through air traffic control and the inertial guidance system, pilots are constantly course-correcting. When immediately addressed, these course corrections are not hard to manage. When these course corrections don’t regularly happen, catastrophe can result.

For example, in 1979, a passenger jet with 257 people onboard left New Zealand for a sightseeing flight to Antarctica and back. However, the pilots were unaware that someone had altered the flight coordinates by a measly two degrees, putting them 28 miles east of where they assumed to be.

Approaching Antarctica, the pilots descended to give the passengers a view of the brilliant landscapes. Sadly, the incorrect coordinates had placed them directly in the path of the active volcano, Mount Erebus.

The snow on the volcano blended with the clouds above, deceiving the pilots into thinking they were flying above flat ground. When the instruments sounded a warning of the quickly rising ground, it was too late. The plane crashed into the volcano and everyone onboard died.

An error of only a few degrees brought about an enormous tragedy.

Small things — if not corrected — become big things, always.

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In my everyday interaction with a lot of Nigerians, I have come to realize this rather troubling attitude to the state of things in Nigeria. Over the last 20 years, this country has on few occasions came close to imploding, but fate seem to always have a way of pulling it back from the brink.
This pattern seem to have emboldened many Nigerians into thinking that no matter what they do, no matter how we heat up the polity, and no matter what we refuse to do, that Nigeria will always be there for us. Worryingly, this seems to have become the received wisdom for many.

When too many people start thinking like this in a given society, the signs that such a society is heading the wrong way gets clearer. What these people fail to realize is that a society is like an elastic material, and after series of stretching hitting the elastic limit, one day it will get beyond the yield point and snap. The cause of this sudden inability to return to its original shape is a cumulation of kissing the elastic limits at different points in time….

Our elders say that from the odour of a fart, one can decipher the taste of the feces. Boko Haram that started from just a tiny quarter ended up consuming an entire region should be a teacher to a thinking people of how a society with over 70% poverty rate, unprecedented unemployment rate and youth bulge is a dangerous combination to toy with.

The cost of fighting Boko Haram was enough to restore Nigeria’s health and education system, not to talk of bridging the huge infrastructure deficit. Yet….

Go and ask Rwandans who survived the genocide, if they ever thought such was possible in Rwanda even though the signs were starring them in the face. Go and ask Somalians if they ever thought their homeland will be this ravaged. Go and ask Sierra Leoneans how many times the drums of war were sounded and nothing happened until….Go and ask Ivorians how it started for them.

A country that has passed through this path once should be able to know the difference between a junction and a dead end, but as they say, history hardly repeats itself the same way……

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