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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Envy My Envy, Not!



Hi everyone, how are things going on with y'all? I know, I know, I have been MIA but it's all for a greater good. I apologise for my erratic writing of late and I really am working on rectifying this. I miss writing and I miss you all. Special shoutout to my dedicated blog readers and visitors, who check in here daily, post or no post. Muah. I'm still here for y'all. :)


Today I want to ponder on why people envy others to the point of pulling them down either verbally, physically or even financially. Often to the point where they gloat when a misfortune befalls the subject of their envy. Envy is defined as that feeling of resentment or dissatisfaction which is evoked by longing for the possessions or qualities of another person. When you strongly desire what someone else's has up to the point where you resent the person for having this item or qualities which you don't have, then you have been consumed by envy and this is never healthy for you.


The way this life is set up, there will always be that person who is better dressed, better coordinated, more eloquent, most beautiful or handsome, more vocal and funnier, richer and more powerful than you. The sooner you process that and comes to terms with the realisation of it, the better for you. Envy knows no gender, race, religious bias nor age, for it cuts across all borders. 

Often times, if you don't nip envy in the bud, it grows deep roots which could end up choking you. I recall a horrifying story that happened in Lagos a few months ago about a teenage school boy who got envious of his new classmate's academical achievements and plotted to kill her. He actually laid his hands on some acid from the school's chemistry laboratory (don't ask me how this happened, Naija is well, Naija) and poured it into the girl's drinking bottle! Thankfully, he was spotted by a couple of his other classmates and was ousted. Such is the depth of hurtfulness, madness and depravity that envy can send you spiralling down into if you don't curb it.

Some of the things that could trigger envy are a lack of contentment, pride (stemmed from falsely believing you deserve more than the other person and often comparing yourself to others. There are ways in which you can rid yourself of envying other and some of these are by embracing a life of gratitude with whatever you have while seeking to better yourself inwardly and outwardly, by being completely honest with yourself, by resisting the urge to compare yourself with others in such a way that will stir up envy and strife within yourself.

Learn to pass compliments to others without barbed edges in your words. Just let the good stuff come out of your mouth and move on, no need to let envy cause you to spew additional and unnecessary words after you've said something nice to people. 

Remember that envy consumes, so don't let it get you.

Have a prosperous day ahead.  











Friday, 14 July 2017

Their Lives Matter Too


Hello everyone, here is Robert Ogbogu, a passionate writer who is being featured on my blog for the first time. This write up of his comes from a clear place of pain, empathy and hope. Do enjoy and join us in our demand to bring back our kidnapped boys. 


If you would like your written articles featured in my #BlogFeaturePost columns, kindly send them in to bukiotuyemi@gmail.com.


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How long is enough? How long will our children be in servitude? And how long will parents wait to be reunited with their sons? It is over 50 (FIFTY DAYS!!!!!) days today since families were met with an unsolicited prominence of some sorts; a kind of prominence and limelight recognition that most of us wish not to be associated with. A kind of recognition that can be likened to gravel in the mouth or more like being left in the cold with no blanket or fire tools to keep warm.


Frankly, words cannot bring to realism the trauma and psychological breakdown that the parents and guardians of the six kidnapped students of Lagos State Model College, Igbonla will be going through right now. It is just nerve wrecking to think about it, how much more when we are the ones in the situation. Really spine-chilling to boot.

Writing this article brings to mind a real life event my mother told me not so long ago. As a new born baby, after my dedication in church, it seem as if I was everyone’s favorite; I would be passed around from hand to hand until the end of service. But it happened that on this fateful day, I was nowhere to be found. The pastor first made the announcement for the member carrying me to take me to my mother. Nothing happened. When it was getting to the end of service and there was no trace of me… what seemed to be a joke had turned into panic.

Well, to cut the story short, a member carried me to see off a friend she invited to church. That was how I was safely returned to my mother. Now for some other mothers in the church, naturally they will show their concern and sympathy, but not the way my own mother would feel it. Obviously, the whole incident must have sent shock waves to my mother. At that moment, so many thoughts will come to mind and even envelope her. That is to show how real and mind boggling events can turn us to be maniacs especially when we are the persons directly involved.

Has anything happened to any of your siblings, friends, colleagues or relatives that made you to briefly lose contact with them? Well, while you try to recall, just bear in mind that some families are going through some unspeakable trauma every day when they wake up from sleep with the reality of their abducted children staring them in the face and their safe return looking very bleak and uncertain.
The day we start failing and dying as a nation and as individuals is the day we start weighing and analyzing lives that are more important or top priority than others. When that happens, it simply implies that the founding fathers of this great nation made a grave mistake by trying to instill the tenets of equality, equity, justice, freedom and security for all the citizens of this great nation.

Yes, we have seen cases where the abducted relatives of the rich and famous in the country were released within twenty hours of their abduction. And yes we have seen the culprits brought to book and the abductors face the full wrath of the law. This simply means that a whole lot can be done in the case of the abducted school children. This is not a time for the blame game session amongst security agencies, showing nonchalant attitude or using the media as a tool to raise false hope.

Truly, this is not a time to stack it up with the rest of other piled up missing cases but a time to show pragmatic approach and explore different angles and options. The families of the kidnapped deserve to see their children and have them returned safe and sound. They deserve the right to be kept abreast with vital information on the turn of event, and they deserve the hope of going to bed each night knowing that the security agencies are really exploring all options in the release of their children.


We may not know these families directly neither do we know what the abductors school children will turn out to be. But one thing remains certain: if we keep looking the other way when events like this happen, how  much time will it take before one of your own is abductors and everyone gets to act like nothing happened too.

As a nation, we can do better because every life matters.  #FREE6LagosBoys



Ogbogu is a Fellow at Civic Hub, Lagos. Connect with him by email locate@civichub.com.ng  or ogbogurobert@gmail.com  Twitter: @OgboguRob


Friday, 30 June 2017

FREE SIX KIDNAPPED LAGOS BOYS




It has been over a month since 6 Lagos boys were kidnapped from their school at the Lagos State Model College Igbonla, Epe. Their names are: Peter Jonah, Isiaq Ramon, Adebayo George, Judah Agbausi, Pelumi Phillips and Farouq Yusuf. Real people, young lads who went to study in a State owned boarding school but ended up getting kidnapped by hapless criminals allowed to perpetrate such a heinous crime due to our lack of adequate security in this country.

Some parents of the kidnapped boys. :(
I would like to believe that these boys are alive and very hopeful that we would rescue them soon enough but can you take a moment to imagine how traumatised they would be now? Can you fathom how their hopes would dwindle day after day with no rescue mission in sight? Can you picture and feel their parents, siblings and friends' pains and anguish, their uncertainty about ever hugging these boys again? Can you just take a moment to imagine all these? 


We cannot just sweep this case under the carpet and act like it didn't happen, we must not forget the 6 boys and we must do our best to get them back. I have gathered that the parents have pooled funds together to raise N10,000,000.00 and handed this cash to the nefarious kidnappers but they are yet to get their boys back. How cruel can a man be to deprive a parent the joy of having their son back even after collecting such a hefty ransom? 

What exactly is the government doing about this, you ask? Search me!!!! I cannot figure out why after a whole fucking month, the police and government have yet to get these poor kids back from the den of the kidnappers. I shudder to imagine what those dear kids are being subjected to. And to think those hapless criminals informed the authorities BEFORE they struck the school, yet those kids got snatched. Whose kid must get snatched for security sanity to be brought back to this country, whose ox must get gored before firm stands are taken against crime, whose blood must be spilled before we do right by ourselves as a nation?

Say a prayer for those boys who have been in captivity for over a month now because that's all we have left in this quagmire we have found ourselves in, prayers. 

#Free6LagosBoys #BringBackOurBoys


Thursday, 29 June 2017

Vacancies! Vacancies! Vacancies!




Hardley Grey Group  is recruiting for the following positions:

1. CLIENTS RELATIONS UNIT

Position 1: Team lead
Must have 4 years of work experience

Position 2: Executive Assistants
Could be a fresh graduate
Must be intelligent, charismatic and well spoken

2. PR & SALES UNIT

Applicants must be able to manage online/social media  pr portals
Must be Intelligent and have excellent communication skills.
Previous Experience in sales
Provable Access to clients within 20km radius of VI


3. FINANCE AND CONTROL

Accounting/financial background is a plus, but not essential
Previous experience with vendor and supply chain management
Proven track record in the development and regulation of internal finance controls
Experience with government agencies
Intelligent
Fast learner

4. WORKSHOP MANAGER

Mechanical/civil/ electrical engineer
Adept Knowledge about automobiles
Scheduling experience


5. Operations & Logistics
Supply chain management
Vendor relations

Interested Applicants are to send the following to the provided email address:
A) Properly formatted CV.
B ) Recent passport photograph.
C) Cover Letter indicating which position candidate wishes to apply for.

Email: applicationstohac@gmail.com
Cc: b.adebanjo@hodgeautocentre.com

Phone number:
07040555510


Website: www.hodgeautocentre.com

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Pride Always Goes Before A Fall



If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in this life, it’s that no condition is permanent. It therefore baffles me how power drunk people can get once they attain a certain position. They begin to get and act cocky while treating others like trash. It always pays to be nice to others all of the time, not just some of the time. You never really can tell how you or them will end up.


I read about a certain top-earning Nigerian actress who served as a housemaid when she first arrived in Lagos many years ago. Look at her today with a beautiful family, a seemingly nice and wealthy husband, houses, cars, designer clothing and accessories, vacations to exotic places abroad, the full works. I often wonder if the people she worked for as a housemaid beat her up and humiliated her at the time or if they actually helped her actualise and achieve her dream of becoming a star. No one knows what tomorrow would bring so we must always be the best we can be as each day comes.




Pride, they say, always goes before a fall so be careful of how you treat others lest your ego and pride trips you and causes to fall over. I see a lot of Nigerians sailing on ego trips and I  just shake my head at their folly. I have seen many of such people fall flat on their faces and at the feet of those whom they once victimised. It really does not take a lot of effort to be kind to others, your employees, neighbours, colleagues, workers, frenemies and even strangers. Often times, when a person treats others unfairly, they forget and move on but for their victims, the hurt and scars last longer. This also applies to people when a good deed is done to them. Many a good deeds have I done without recalling until the recipients make mention of them. People NEVER forget how you make them feel at every point in time.



Respect is mutual and reciprocal, regardless of your status or position. You must learn to treat others with respect lest you meet your match one day. Look at how humble Mark Zuckerberg was when he came into Nigeria the other time. No fuss, no moss, just a young man going about his business despite the billions he is worth. Our government had to officially invite him back again to save face after he'd come and gone about his duties. Who then are you to be prouding upandan the place anyhow? A word is enough for the wise otherwise, Kontinuu. 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

The Crack Team




Hello everyone, here is Vivian Beulah Igbokwe again, a consistently passionate writer who has been featured on my blog several times. Her articles and views are her own experiences and opinions and they are very interesting and enlightening. 

If you would like your written articles featured in my #BlogFeaturePost columns, kindly send them in to bukiotuyemi@gmail.com.


Enjoy. :)
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I remember a series of occurrences in my undergraduate years that I’d like to share regarding stammering. Although I still stammer now, it is largely suppressed and a miracle I will forever celebrate in my life. I actually speak and do presentations before large audiences now; it was impossible in my university years. Stammering is usually associated with stress. If you are a stammerer and find yourself stammering so much at any particular period, take a break and give yourself some good rest. I never knew this then and even if I did, I wouldn’t have done anything about it then because 100 level was very stressful. For example, to make one payment, you might get to school by 7:00 am and leave around past 6:00 pm.
Getting done with clearance was something to celebrate and when we thought we were through with the unbearable stress of clearance, lecturers started bombarding us with assignments upon assignments. They ensured we had permanent frowns and strains on our faces.
With all that stress, talking was a very difficult thing for me to do. I had to ask directions to practically everywhere because I was a fresh student. The worst was when I had to pronounce words that begin with L, M or H. Sometimes while stammering, the person I was trying to get directions from would walk away. He probably had a lecture to catch up with and the words weren’t coming out. Some others will smile and patiently wait. It was so embarrassing. I considered writing down my questions but I didn’t want to give the impression that I was dumb. So, I stood my grounds and stammered on. To add to the wahala, it gave me chest pains to stammer. Consequently, I got to the hostel each day with pains in my chest. 100 level na wa!
In my department, we were quiet few in number. Somehow, I was chosen as the assistant course representative. The first day, I conversed with the course rep, he stammered so much. I met my match that day. To make light of the situation, I smiled and said, “ah ah now, if you want to talk, talk. Stop cracking.” We both laughed and it was cool because afterwards, he would crack and I would crack and we both cracked together. Cracking, then, became beautiful because I didn’t need to feel embarrassed cracking before a fellow cracker.
One cool evening, as I left the school after studying, a guy approached me. He stood before for five minutes before he spoke. I was surprised because I knew I wasn’t that pretty that a guy would be dumbfounded standing before me.  I also knew my hair was not on fire, what could it be? When he finally spoke, I had to hold myself from laughing.                                                                             
“Wo-wo-wo-wo-wo-wo-wo-wo-wo-wo-what is your name?
“Vivian.”
““Wo-wo-wo-wo-wo-wo-wo-wo-wo-wo-wo…?” I didn’t wait for him to finish. I quickly answered, guessing what the question would be.
“Education Biology. 100 level.
I had to cool down and wait the next ten minutes for him to introduce himself to me. My brothers and sisters, no be small thing. His name was Emeka. When he said he was in third year, I felt pity for him. How was he coping in school with this kind of heavy cracking? In fact, it wasn’t just cracking; it was computer shut down. He finally landed - he liked me. Most of what he said, I had to deduce because I could barely hear what he was saying. I told him I would think about it but I knew I wouldn’t go out with him. How would we communicate seeing we both crack? Through sign language? I imagined marrying someone like him. Our children will simply be dumb (lol).
Brother Ignatius was a nice brother in fellowship that had a sweet smile for everyone. Sometimes, he would accompany the smile with a hand wave. We all loved Brother Ignatius. He never greeted, he just smiled and waved.  One day Brother Ignatius decided he would greet me. Why me?  Why not someone else in fellowship? By the time he was done saying good afternoon, five minutes had passed. Of course, he didn’t stop that day. Every fellowship day, Brother Ignatius would greet me.  I would patiently wait for him to finish with a kind smile and kind look on my face. One day, he took it a step higher and asked for my phone number. I gave it to him. Whenever he called, I would tell everyone in the room to keep quiet; that Brother Ignatius was calling. I would then wait for five minutes on the phone for Brother Ignatius to just say hello and ask how my day went.
 After a while, Brother Ignatius said he wanted us to talk over midnight call. I nearly fainted. Why me? We spend 5-10 minutes just to exchange pleasantries in the day, how long would it take in the night; especially judging by the fact that the call would be free and Brother Ignatius would be free to crack as long as he wanted? Why wouldn’t Brother Ignatius write what he wanted to say in a note and I would reply? Whenever he asked for a date, I would give an excuse. Finally, I had to give him a date. On the D-day, I dreaded nightfall and especially 2:00 am, our appointed time. When he finally called, I nearly cried. I battled with sleep on my end, and thunderstorm from his end. He stuttered so much, I pitied his teeth and lips.
Brother Ignatius just called me that midnight to know how I was and how I was coping in school. That night, as he cracked, I concluded that Emeka is simply an orator. With Emeka, it was computer shutdown. With Brother Ignatius, NEPA took the light.
I’m glad I’ve managed to overcome my cracking and I really wish there was an instant cure for stammering that could help stammerers overcome the constant embarrassment they go through daily. Until we get a cure, let me implore you to always exercise a bit of patience with stammerers whenever you come across them.
Twitter/Instagram: @club7teen
Facebook: VivianBeulahIgbokwe

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Tomorrow Will Always Be Better



Whatever you are going through today, I can assure you that it will pass soon enough. When they said  that "tough times don't last but tough people do", they weren't kidding. Truly, trying and tough times don't last forever no matter how intense they come upon you. No situation is worth taking your life over because no situation is permanent. 

I want to use this medium to encourage you all, no matter what your daily challenges are, to hang in there. There are always brighter and better days ahead. Tomorrow is a promise of better things to come, just believe.

Meanwhile, meet Christian Guardino, a 16 Year-Old Singer who has a most beautiful voice and got a golden buzzer on American's Got Talent for his voice, humility and overall pleasant attitude. This is a young lad who was blind at some point in his life but OVERCAME and here he is, shinning and sharing his talent globally. 

Don't give up, no matter how bleak things might be. The storm will be calm and you will overcome. 


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Be Contented, Be At Peace




I woke up at about 2.49 am today pondering on the series of events that have happened/are happening around me in the past few months till date and I couldn't help but be grateful that I have a nature and and an understanding of contentment. There is a kind of peace you get when you have risen above all that should be but isn't yet; that sort of peace comes from being contented with whatever you have.

I heard about the news of Nigerian artist, Dammy Crane, being arrested in the USA over credit card fraud and all that and I felt a cold shiver run down my spine. Do I know him personally? No, but I felt terrible that he seems to have thrown away all he's worked for over his lack of contentment, if the stories are true. The desire to want to splurge and live the lifestyle of keeping up with the Kardashians Joneses is the greatest undoing of most people. Careers that people have built and laboured over for years go down the drain after being caught out in their own scams and sham lives. Why would anyone throw all that away just for a few thousand Facebook or Instagram likes?  I felt really disappointed and hurt at how it's all playing out.






Truth is, you must have an equilibrium between the things you desire and the things you are able to acquire/achieve, otherwise you will definitely tip the scales and more often than not, the scales are never tipped in ones favour when there is a lack of contentment. You cannot go through life racking up debts and living above your means in order to impress others. They won't be there to support you when things come crashing down because they did not ask you to do illegal stuff in other to keep up appearances and largely because your downfall will hurt them as much as it would hurt you. When people place you on a high pedestal and you crash due to greed or lack of integrity, the pedestal often fall on those who have built it. The hurt and the disappointment are shared by your loved ones alongside your shame. We must make conscious efforts to be satisfied with what we have even as we strive, legitimately, to become bigger and better in all we do.



Growing up, whenever I was bad and took my dad's loose change without asking him, (I hated eating food and preferred to take sweets and bubble gum so I would nick a few coins, get caught and get disciplined thoroughly. I am remorseful now, that was eons ago. :) he had a song he would sing to be in my dialect which simply translated to "be satisfied with your own stuff, be contented with what you have". I can't ever forget that song and who knows if that's what helped form my deep resolve to be contented with what I have, however little it may seem. I have also learnt that what seems trash to you is actually worth its weight in gold to others. Just be contented with whatever you have.  



I recall this poem we used to recite in primary school and this has also stayed with me through the years. We have people who have so much but are yet not contented with all they have; they would rather take from the less privileged because they lack contentment. Contentment is everything, it gives you peace of mind and the courage to face anyone and anything, knowing nothing they have can intimidate or faze you. 

At the end of the day, when we leave this cold cruel world, we won't take a pin with us. A friend of mine called me on Sunday evening to share her first experience at a Muslim funeral. The sweet old lady who died was wealthy when she was alive but according to Islamic traditions, she was buried in just a cloth, tied with ropes and put 6ft below the ground without a casket!!!! My friend was really traumatised by it and even as she recounted it to me and I envisioned it, I was scarred as well. I told her I would cal her back but I'm yet to. What is this life sef? All those houses, laces, fancy cars, accounts, Louboutins, purses, trips abroad, etc means nothing at the end of the day. 

Louisa May Alcott captured it quite aptly when she wrote " I am content with what I have. Little be it, or much"

Enough said.

Monday, 5 June 2017

#BlogFeaturePost - Biafra - A Bit Of Perspective Before You Wage War



Below is another thought provoking article by my good friend Temitayo Fabunmi. His previous BlogFeature articles can be found here. He has once again put my precise thoughts into words in a profound way. There are so many untold stories of how the Biafran war went down and all that transpired within that period, so it is refreshing to read this article of his. I wish we had more narrations of all that happened in that war from different perspectives put down in writing for all to read, generations to come inclusive. Read, be enlightened and do share.



Thanks.

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I think I'll be losing friends on Facebook this evening, on top Biafra.
On so many evenings when I was much younger, the adult conversations at home were about "The War".  I don't recall hearing Biafra being mentioned or if it was, it didn't make much sense. However, tales of "The War" pockmarked my childhood. When I finally read Chimamanda Adichie's Half a Yellow Sun, it had far more nostalgic weight than I can describe. (There is a tragic personal angle to this, that I'll touch on in a couple of paragraphs).

You see, my dad is a Yoruba boy while my mum is a Rivers geh. Their perspectives on the war were not dissimilar to the pro- and anti-Biafra noise that pervades the Nigerian airwaves today. Right in the house it was our domestic History Channel. 

I read of the pogrom and genocide against Igbos in 13 Years of Military Rule. Add to that Cyprian Ekwensi's "Divided We Stand" (a work of fiction) and a couple of other books I don't remember now and my antipathy for Hausas and other Northerners was established. Such is the danger of a single story. 

As I grew older, I read some more. Then I discovered Igbos murdered ethnic minorities during the civil war. Not one, not two but droves. My mother's uncle was one - buried alive (a story I grew up hearing almost everyday but didn't know what to make of it). My grandmother (who died when I was too young to know her) was a Braide, from Bakana. Ignore me for a minute and read up on what the Biafran Army did in Bakana. Then I went from hating the Nigerian Army to hating both the Nigerian Army (read - "Hausa") and the Biafran Army (read - "Igbo"). In Half A Yellow Sun, Ms. Adichie also alludes to this when she wrote about an Ndoni man who was lynched for being a "sabo".

The danger in these one-sided tales is that they breed deep mistrust. I was perhaps fortunate, by the time I left FGC, I had been sufficiently immersed in other cultures that rid me of these ethnic prejudices. There are good people and there are bad people. It is dangerous to tar an entire group based on the misdeeds of a horrible few. When I was about to write my physics paper in my final exams in school, I took ill. Patrick Nwanji and Umaru Alhassan took me to the dispensary and stayed there with me to ensure I was treated promptly and helped me back to the exam hall. There are no medals for guessing that neither of them is a Yoruba boy.

I grew older, I learnt to synthesise the disparate things I have read;
1. Forget the bullshit anyone is flying, war is a brutish thing. It never goes according to plan. Don't take my word for it. George Bush planned a shock and awe war on Iraq. That was 2003. The shock is still on. We are waiting for the awe. 

2. It is tragic that we don't learn history in Nigeria. We also make heroes out of scoundrels. Murtala Muhammed has no business being on any national monument or currency. He was one of the well-documented war criminals of the Civil War. 
The Civil War is so poorly documented that base men have now hijacked the narrative to create a lofty ideal out of it. Sorry, it was hellish. It is not worth re-experimenting. 
Abominable policies like the "abandoned property" policy should be discussed and where practical, the victims compensated.

3. The 1967 Biafran national identity was far from homogeneous. The ensuing crisis revealed the scale of differences. Ethnic groups south of Elele that Igbos often refer to as Rivers Igbo today were not exempt from extra-judicial killings. Minorities further afield were more than fair game. It is dubious to sell the idea of homogeneity again today. Carve out a landlocked Biafra and you will find out that there are Igala families in Ubulu afor. How do you propose to dispose of them? Or the Igbo families from Benue State?
[By the way, this warning goes to the miscreants who fly the kite of Oduduwa Republic and draw maps that include Urhobos, Itsekiris and Isokos. You are barking mad. No apologies.]

4. We conflate a cultural identity with a national one. Our collective appreciation of civics is so weakened that we are also unable to appreciate that a cultural identity is not mutually exclusive with a national one. It is so bad that many Nigerians give themselves a religious identity that is deemed more important than their national identity. So we off to Biafra, the Oguta man then says Oguta is superior to Onitsha. Ndi Arochukwu claim ancestral superiority over the rest. In the midst of this poor grasp of civics, what will establish the supremacy of the Biafran identity?
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The Nigerian nation has failed us as a collective and we have also failed the nation. The agitation for a separate identity is a natural consequence of being hitched to a failed state. That however does not make it a valid solution to a genuine problem. The faulty components of the failed state, if split into 4 parts, would only result in 4 failed states. 


Fiscal federalism with a curtailed centre might be a start. However with poor appreciation of the civic governance process, it will soon throw up highly oppressive centres within those federating units.


The problem is far more complex than the separatist solutions being touted. I do not claim omniscience on what the solution should be, but by jove I recognise a bad proposal when I see one.