Learning about staying power from former President Babangida at 80, and return of Taliban to Kabul

Why am I not surprised that you are hearing the voice of staying power as former President Ibrahim Babangida clocks 80 years today, at the same period that the Taliban return to power having taken over Kabul, capital of Afghanistan?

I am not hearing voices

I meant that as a compliment.

Then make your communication clear. You must set forth with the right words or …

You must set forth at dawn.

Are you going to give Prof Wole Soyinka credit for that or not?

I thought that was the next thing you were going to say. Was only trying to help out.

That’s another miss. First let me speak and don’t put words in my mouth or assume something I am not thinking about.

Ok. I will not assume again but tell me is it true that staying power is the biggest thing common to former President Babangida clocking 80 years today and return of the Taliban to power in Kabul?

Who suggested any kind of comparison between the two in the first place?

I read about it somewhere and assumed that by reason of timing, there are some common elements between the two. First, since President Babangida stepped aside from power and handed over to the interim national government headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan, in 1993, he has remained an important factor in the power calculus in Nigeria, just as the Taliban remained a significant factor in the power calculus in Afghanistan, though ousted from central control of the country in over two decades. Second, is the issue of reach, relevance and resonance. Third, is the issue of charm and lingering appeal.

So? Where are you headed with this?

Nowhere, except to stimulate a conversation on the subject of staying power.

What do you want to do with the conversation?

What is the relevance of staying power?

Are you really interested in the relevance of staying power as of itself or what is done with staying power?

I’m interested in both but more in what is done with staying power

And why, if I may ask?

For two reasons. One is the incredible possibilities of what may be achieved with staying power to improve the conditions of all men in any society, whether rich or poor, educated or illiterate. Secondly, is the fact that every human representation of staying power points us in the direction of the Ultimate Staying Power, who someday, will call everyone gifted with the unusual blessing of staying power, to account for how well the ability was used, while not ignoring the rest of the human race.

Doesn’t that remove from the celebration of 80 solid years to which President Babangida is fully entitled?

Of course not. We must celebrate the gift of life and longevity. We must celebrate everything providence enabled him to do for the wellbeing of all Nigerians. But please tell me, what do you really think is the best way to celebrate IBB at 80 years?

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