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ABA SAHEED: National awards for dogs and baboons



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King Nebuchadnezzar and Emperor Nero lived in different eras but they both shared similarities in history, especially the unforgettable tyranny and terror their reigns inflicted on their repressed and oppressed peoples.

One was famed to have turned to an animal and roamed in the wild for years as punishment for his sins against humanity and for playing God. The other was famed to have literally set his empire on fire by his acts of commission and omission and while the fire was raging, he was playing on his pipe, and picking his teeth if you like.

I will be using my poetic licence to make these two historic personages live, metaphorically, in the same period in history especially for the purpose of telling this story of National Awards and Honours which connected King Nebuchadnezzar with Emperor Nero.

King Nebuchadnezzar decided to honour some of the citizens of his country and as to be expected he drew up the list of mostly those of his kith and kin as well as those who shared his philosophy of oppression and suppression and policy of mass impoverishment of his people. He left nobody in doubt that he was the most notorious champion of nepotism such that the list paraded mostly the ‘Who is Who’ of his royal court.

As if he knew he was going to be sentenced to perdition and he was going to crawl on his belly with claws like the tiger’s, he chose an award-giving ceremony as a parting gift to his cronies so that they would have something to remember him with, apart from the booties shared.

Before the date set for the awards, he sent word to Emperor Nero, his comrade in inhumanity, informing him about his parting gift to his people while at the same time requesting him to send a list of his few favoured baboons and monkeys in human clothing who might have deserved awards. Emperor Nero did not know what to make of the invitation and request, because hitherto, what was common to both of them was a regular note-sharing on acts of cruelty inflicted on their suffering subjects. Nero wondered why his comrade wanted to give Awards and Honours to a few of the same people who were never considered to be higher than common animals.

Emperor Nero asked the emissary sent to his palace to wait a few hours while he thought of the appropriate response to his comrade.

“Your Most High, I salute you. I got your message and I was wondering whether the contents were sent in jest or should be taken seriously.” Comrade Nero wrote. “When did you start thinking of your subjects as human beings fit for recognition and honour? And you say National Awards, am I right?”

Emperor Nero paused his letter-writing and paced to and fro while he took time to make a passing glance at the ferocious Lions he kept as pets. These were lions he fed with live human beings!

He went back to his writing table while he kept the King’s messengers outside in the scorching sun. “I have given a deep thought to your message and would like some clarification. Would the citizens from my empire have to come over to your country to receive the Awards or would you merely send me the Awards and their categories so that I dash them to my own cronies here? I understand that you don’t require any qualification to be admitted into your kingdom as citizen. All that was required, I was told, was the dressing style, religion, level of poverty and a degree of animal culture. Since my subjects do not possess any of those attributes they may appear strange if I should send them forth to receive the Awards in person. If you don’t mind, let your messengers come back with the Awards and I will distribute them as I consider fit and proper. I am not sure whether I would be coming to the Awards ceremony in your kingdom because my Ambassador to your country has given me cause to fear travelling to your place. I gathered from other sources that life is the cheapest commodity in your place and death can easily be picked up from any roadside. Please accept the assurances of my highest esteem. Yours in the service of humanity, Emperor Nero, the Man with the Heart of Stone.” Nero rolled up the Cyprus paper and handed it to Nebuchadnezzar’s messengers.

Meanwhile, servile officers in the Nebuchadnezzar’s Royal Court had prepared a long list of Awardees with various categories attached thereto. Category one, the highest category, was named Grand Commander of the Land of the Living Dead [GCLLD].

Category two was Grand Commander of Thieves and Felons [GCTF]. The third category was Commander of Country of Robbers [CFR]. The fourth category was Member of the Felony Republic [MFR].

The fifth category was Murderer of the Nation [MON]. The sixth category was Ordinary, very Ordinary Nuisance [OON]. The seventh category was Commander of con-men [CON] for short. In all, there were 900 recipients. The largest number were assigned category OON, the class of ordinary nuisance. And as history told us, more than half the entire population of Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom were nuisances.

Another large number were in the category of murderers, assassins, arsonists; these were represented by the awardees of MON. It was a jamboree, a bazaar. The Awards were like worthless currency notes printed by reckless countries.

Unknown to most of the awardees, the title attached to each of the awards was Nebuchadnezzar’s categorisation of his own cronies. He knew which of the awardees was a murderer or a con-man or a nuisance. He knew the thieves amongst them which of course was not surprising because it takes a thief to recognize a super thief and a conman to recognize another.

Nebuchadnezzar was not amused by Nero’s letter but characteristic of his tribesmen they never betrayed any emotion which made them the most dangerous and most deadly human-beings on earth. He sent his emissary back to Nero with a list of 33 awards urging him to accord his people as he deemed fit. He thought he would be able to retaliate Nero’s insult not suspecting that the real God was waiting to despatch him to the forest to live with Baboons and bush-Dogs.


On the day of the Award Ceremony, the class of looters and exploiters who were to be honoured turned out in large numbers accompanied by their wives, husbands and children. They were gaily dressed while their rotund cheeks and bloated bellies spoke volumes for the amount of money they had collectively and individually swallowed from the commonwealth.

It was obvious to all observers that merit was not the yardstick for conferring national honours, and in fact there was nothing national about the whole charade. The Awards were Nebuchadnezzar’s personal parting gifts to his cronies and those that had helped him to empty national treasury. History recorded that there were a few men and women of honour who shunned the awards donated to them.

It was a great irony that in a kingdom which had become a laughing stock to all her neighbours and which by all standards had been pauperised beyond words, citizens could still feel entertained by such ridiculous show of buffoonery.

A few months after the lavish ceremony, King Nebuchadnezzar received an order from God that he should proceed to the thickest jungle and make friends with beasts, lions, tigers and baboons and become one of them. Within a twinkle of an eye, Nebuchadnezzar got transformed into a wild animal and went straight down on his fours. All those who received his Awards followed suit and they, without an exception, turned to baboons and dogs and started tearing at each other. It was a gory sight as they were drenched in blood. Soaked.

Emperor Nero committed suicide!

Will pathological schemers who hold Nigeria by the jugular allow national elections to hold in February 2023?

”We imposed presidential system, a form of democratic dictatorship, [an oxymoron] because our people could not survive the rigours of parliamentary debates on the floor of the House”.

The power of names: ‘oruko n’roni; apeja n’ ro’niyan’…apologies to Musiliu Haruna Isola.
Ade-tola, Omo-tola, Akin-tola, Ogun-tola, Oye-tola, Odu-tola, Olu-tola, Iro-tola
Olu-toye, Akin-toye, Ola-toye, Osun-toye, Owa-toye, Ogun-toye, Iro-toye

What does Hypocrisy feed on?

Copyright: Aba Saheed @2022.





















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