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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!


Woman who masterminded self-kidnap, two others nabbed in Benin

A Benin, Edo State-based woman, Blessing Ogunu, who allegedly masterminded her own kidnap has been arrested by police operatives in the State.

The woman who is now cooling her feet with two other suspects in police custody, was arrested on 23 March, 2024.

The Command’s spokesman, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, in a statement on Monday in Benin, said the suspect was arrested with two other accomplices, Esther Anthony and Ukpebor Joel.

According to him, “The Anti-Kidnapping and Cyber Crime Unit received a complaint from one Samuel Prince Omomuzo, of No 102 Ihama Road, GRA, Benin City who reported that one Blessing Ogunu, a staff of Bliss Legacy Limited, Benin City was kidnapped in Benin and the kidnappers demanded for four million, eight hundred thousand naira (N4,800,000.00) ransom.

“The operatives, using technical intelligence, arrested the supposed victim of the kidnap, one Blessing Ogunu, Esther Anthony and Ukpebor Joel.

“During interrogation, the supposed Blessing Ogunu confessed that she masterminded her self-kidnap because her company refused to allocate land to a customer whom they have received money from.”

Nwanbuzor disclosed that the suspects would soon be charged to court.

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NAF airstrikes eliminate 30 terrorist kingpins, fighters in Borno

The Air component of the Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK), has executed a precision airstrike on the hideouts of ISWAP terrorists, killing over 30 of their fighters within Kolleram village along the shores of Lake Chad.

This is contained in a statement by AVM Edward Gabkwet, the Director, Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on Tuesday in Abuja.

Gabkwet said the airstrikes conducted on April 13, were a decisive blow against terrorism in the North-East.

He said the operation yielded significant success as the Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) post-strike conducted revealed the neutralisation of over 30 terrorists.

Gabkwet said that among those neutralised were some senior commanders of the insurgents including Ali Dawud, Bakura Fallujah, and Mallam Ari.

“Additionally, numerous vehicles, motorcycles, and logistical assets were destroyed, severely hampering the terrorists’ operational capabilities.

“Intelligence gathered after the air strike further indicated that the aerial bombardment effectively obliterated a key facility within the Kolleram enclave, which served as a hub for the terrorists’ food processing activities, including grinding machines.

“The success of these airstrikes underscores NAF’s commitment to eradicating terrorism and ensuring the safety and security of Nigerian citizens.

“By neutralising key terrorist figures and destroying their logistical infrastructure, the operation has significantly degraded the capabilities of the ISWAP group in the region.

“These airstrikes complement the ongoing efforts of ground forces in the Lake Chad flank and represent a crucial step forward in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria,” he said.


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Francis Okoye arrested in Anambra bound commercial bus with firearms, POS machine

A 22-year-old man, Francis Obinna Okoye, has been arrested by operatives of Edo State Police Command’s Monitoring Unit for alleged possession of firearm.
Also recovered from him was a blue-coloured pos machine.
Okoye who resides at No 26, Jatto Street, Okolo, Lagos State, was arrested on 7 April, 2024.
A statement by the Command’s spokesman, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, said the suspect was apprehended by the  operatives while on stop and search duty along Lagos-Benin expressway, by Ovia river axis.
He was intercepted in a commercial bus loaded with passengers from Lagos state heading to Anambra state.
The suspect allegedly confessed in his statement that one Emma whose surname is unknown, gave him the gun to threaten his uncle, Mr. Paul Okoye, who was alleged to have killed his father with chams.
However, when operatives of the Command took him to Lagos on Monday, 8 April, 2024, to arrest Mr. Paul Okoye, they found out that the suspect lied to the operatives.
“The suspect will soon be process to
court,” the Edo Police Command spokesperson said.
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