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Monkey Tail, Government Officials and Policy Implementation – Hope Eghagha

Professor Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha

Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha



The first time I heard the quaint expression ‘monkey tail’ some twenty-odd years ago, I was genuinely puzzled about its meaning because of the prevailing circumstances and how one can innocently stumble into something that could be big. I had asked after a young man who used to be around the compound back in Warri, doing menial work and serving like a factotum in the compound and I was casually told that he had been taken to a mental home for treatment after he ran amok and threatened people with a cutlass.
When I asked how such a meek-looking fellow could break down so easily I got a ready answer ‘Oga, the guy dey take monkey tail like water! Monkey tail? What is monkey tail, I asked. Laughter followed. ‘Oga, no tell us say you no know monkey tail o! Monkey tail na! I wondered if someone had eaten the tail of a monkey and gone crazy as a result. ‘You mean he cooked and ate the tail of a monkey? More laughter. No brother.
I soon found out the truth about Monkey tail. Monkey tail is a deadly concoction; it is a ‘locally brewed cannabis and ogogoro liquor, commonly sold by skilled herbal mixologists, usually female, who either have ‘Agbo’ stations by the roadside or are conveniently mobile! I even found a definition for it on Google! If you look carefully those traders are ubiquitous. They are found in motor parks, roadside kiosks, and anywhere there is a small band of traders. Okada and Keke riders patronize them too. This accounts for the crazy speeds at which those bats from hell fly their vehicles along our roads.
Monkey tail! How does it sound to you? This precious concoction came into focus recently as the striking ASUU had rambunctious negotiations with the federal government, which dragged on for some eight months and we witnessed some strange actions and words from one of the principal negotiators on the government side, so bad that the usually reticent Professor Attahiru Jega complained that the Minister was being personal about the official matter that was ASUU strike. Someone commented on a WhatsApp platform that this ‘man dey take too much Monkey tail naim make am dey take the matter like a fight between him and the gods of Okija! Hahahahaha! Of course, Okija shrine has deep connotations with the cantankerous days of governance in Anambra State when a serving governor was abducted.
Some highly placed persons swim in stimulants to function properly. Alcohol for some is routine. Some must take shots of whiskey or brandy before heading out for any serious meeting especially if they are dealing with their superiors. Late Prime Minister Winston Churchill is on record for alcohol abuse, though it made him perform at optimum. Some step up the stimulant level by taking weeds or other hard drugs to be able to coordinate their thoughts. To be sure there are many such substances on the market these days. The senses of such persons have become dependent on these substances. As we know, either in the short or long term, such substances affect one’s sense of judgment.

READ ALSO: We are Grandparents now! – Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha

How does a man who has taken on the high responsibilities of the State indulge in hard drugs, remain sane, and think that he can fool the public? I remember the lyrics of Peter Tosh’s Legalize it when he says ‘Doctors smoke it/Nurses smoke it/ Judges smoke it/ Even lawyer too! So, it is not strange to read those men in power, men of power routinely take monkey tails. Marijuana as a medication has been legalized in America and to be sure access is better. Yet, if it were to come to the public that a sitting governor in America depends on marijuana to perform, there would be no end to the smell of the scandal! A high court judge who smokes weed before coming to court would have impaired judgment. A minister who takes drugs would be permanently impaired when dealing with affairs of the State.
It is against this background that we must examine the actions of some government officials when they deal with the public. Some of them need to go for psychiatric evaluation. How can any sane human being occupying a government position treat university professors like daily paid workers by paying them on prorate basis? In all the years of military dictatorship, the government never did that. Now that we have pseudo-democrats in the temporary confines of the powerhouse in Abuja, the ridiculous has become the norm. Road traffic managers in Lagos once sent errant drivers to Yaba Left for a mental evaluation. For example, a man who drove against traffic or on a one-way lane was sent for psychiatric evaluation. Those state officials who allowed the last ASUU strike to drag on for eight months and finally refused to pay salaries need to go for a mental evaluation. It is an abnormal situation. It is digging the pit of the public university system. Such persons are dangerous to the survival of the Nigerian state.
Sadly, across the country state officials harass petty traders who have stations where they sell Monkey tails in motor parks. They often pounce on those hapless, poor women and seize their wares routinely, later collecting a bribe and returning the stuff to the owners. Their excuse is that such hard drugs endanger the lives of passengers.

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The truth is that one Minister or Governor or President who takes hard drugs before policy decision or implementation is more dangerous to the polity than all the drivers who consume weed before sitting behind the steering wheel. We should be more worried about them than danfo drivers! State House, Government House Monkey Tail is more dangerous to our national survival than Motor Park Monkey tail. And if we believe that power is an aphrodisiac that intoxicates, the amount of power exercised by the rulers of Nigeria over the citizenry is the equivalent of flying the national aircraft while under the influence. The time has come for non-Igbo smokers to take their destiny into their hands! The treatment meted out to ASUU by this government is the result of too much Monkey Tail!


INEC To Conduct Mock Accreditation Of Voters In February 4

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced its plan to carry out mock accreditation of voters on February 4.

The commission said the exercise will take place at 436 polling units across the country.

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, spoke on Friday at a meeting with the resident electoral commissioners (RECs) at the INEC headquarters, Abuja.

Yakubu said INEC is ready to conduct field tests with actual voters, having delivered and tested the bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS) machines.

“For this reason, and in readiness for nationwide deployment, the commission is conducting a mock accreditation of voters similar to what was done ahead of the recent Ekiti and Osun State governorship elections,” he said.

“The mock accreditation will hold on Saturday 4th February 2023 in 436 polling units nationwide. Twelve polling units have been designated in each state of the federation and four in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on the equality of the country’s 109 Senatorial Districts for the exercise.

“A comprehensive list of the polling units, including their names and PU Code numbers, as well as their distribution by state, senatorial district, local government and registration area (Ward) will be uploaded to the commission’s website shortly.”

Yakubu, therefore, appealed to registered voters in the affected polling units to appear on the scheduled date with their PVCs for the mock exercise.

“Doing so will help to reassure the public of the robustness of our system and to strengthen our processes ahead of the general election,” he said.

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IGP Recommends New Police Commissioners For Lagos, Ogun

The inspector general of police (IGP), Alkali Baba has recommended the redeployment of two commissioners of police.

The affected commissioners are Frank Mba and Idowu Owohunwa.

In a letter dated January 24, 2023, and signed by Hafiz Inuwa, assistant inspector general of police to the Police Service Commission (PSC), they were recommended for posting to Ogun and Lagos states.

While Owohunwa would be replacing Abiodun Alabi in Lagos, Mba is expected to take over from Lanre Bankole in Ogun.

The proposed redeployment comes less than a month before the elections.

Ikechukwu Ani, spokesperson of the PSC, revealed that the IGP made a recommendation on the matter to the commission.

Ani said the commission is expected to consider the recommendation.

“The Inspector-general of police is deploying the under-mentioned commissioners of police to strengthen the strategic and operational control of the commands”, the statement read in part.

Mba, prior to his posting to Ogun, was the commissioner of police in charge of the border patrol force, Force Headquarters, Abuja.

Owohunwa was the principal staff officer of the IGP.

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Tribunal Sacks Adeleke As Osun Governor

An Election Petition Tribunal chaired by Justice Tertse Kume has sacked Ademola Adeleke as Governor of Osun State.

The tribunal sacked Adeleke following claims of overvoting in some polling units across the State.

In the majority judgement issued by two judges against one, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ordered that the Certificate of Return issued to Adeleke be withdrawn and issued to Adegboyega Oyetola.

The majority judgement which was read by the Chairman, Justice Tertse Kume said Oyetola scored the majority lawful votes of 314,931 against Adeleke’s 219,666.


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