You Don’t Need a Ministry of Happiness to Make People happy

Dear Governor Rochas,

I hope you are happy with yourself. Well guess what,  I am not!

Not long ago, I read (with dismay) about your establishment of a ministry of Happiness and Couples’ Fulfillment. And then my disappointment became doubled when your failed PR people later tried to fool Nigerians, telling us that your newly established ministry is not that of “Happiness and Couples’ Fulfilment” as earlier reported, but of Happiness and Purpose Fulfillment. Apparently, there had been  a typo in the original Press Release, they said. LIES!

 But I really could care less about the mediocre PR stunt. Instead, my worry is about this newly established ministry and the mediocrity of it all! You see, I joined millions of Nigerians to express my disappointment as news of your latest achievement made headlines. And truth be told, I am really [really] unhappy with all these your policies of misplaced priority, Sir. With all due respect, I think there needs to be a drastic shift in your policy direction.

Candidly speaking, the newly established ministry is useless for several reasons, chief among which being that people do not need a ministry of happiness to be happy. Happiness is like an involuntary reaction which results from situations that excite and cause good feelings. What this means therefore is that it is useless to create a ministry and vest it with the function of ensuring people’s happiness. I mean…how lame is that really? In case you never knew, the people of Imo will become very happy the moment you start to formulate and implement meaningful projects that ensure overall development, while giving everyone an equal opportunity at economic emancipation. People of your state will be automatically happy when they can easily access good-paying jobs, social security, Medicaid and all other things that make life happy. Those are the things you should be concerned about making possible. And truth be told, you do not need a new ministry to actualise those.

Now I must commend your realisation of the fact that the people of Imo are unhappy. But did you ever bother to know why this is so? I guess not. And I hate to be the one to break it down for you; but your people are unhappy because you have failed them! You have not done enough to alleviate extreme poverty in the eastern heartland. A great number of people in your state live on less than a dollar per day. Oh yes! This is the unfortunate reality of the people that gave you the mandate to represent them and help bring about the development which you promised during electioneering campaigns. Sadly, you have disappointed them. It is really unfortunate that barely two years to the end of your eight years rule as a governor, those people’s situation remains the same. So yes they are unhappy. But they do not need a ministry of happiness to make them happy. Instead, they need you to come up with insightful policies that will change their lives for the better.

I have to talk about your many policies of misplaced priorities. I just have to, especially now that it seems like it is becoming a norm. Your recently undertaken mission of erecting statues of African leaders is as needless and as ludicrous as it can be. You have erected like how many statues…five? The unfortunate thing is that you did that while often disregarding the often questionable moral rectitude of those whose statues you erected; Jacob Zuma. Let me not bother going into details the millions of naira that were spent on these needless Statue building projects.  These are monies that could have been channeled towards meaningful projects that will positively impact the lives of Imo people. But to you, building those statues is one of the best things you have ever done! And while I  am happy for you about that, you have to understand that in the real scheme of things in Imo State, it is a classic example of your many policies of misplaced priority.

Now back to your new ministry… It is ironical to see how it has gotten many people  (both within and outside of your state) unappy. And I sincerely hope that you understand this outrage and learn from it. And while you do that, I will suggest that you (at least) replace your biological sister with someone else as the potential commissioner for the new ministry. This is for apparent reasons, including people’s concerns with nepotism on your part. Moreover, I personally do not think she is the best fit for the job! I mean…she has done nothing but bash and insult people left, right and centre since the nomination. Frankly speaking, she has not portrayed herself in the best possible light; as a happy person that is. It therefore begs the question as to how she could possibly head a ministry of happiness.

I guess I have to be fair and give you some credits, right? I have heard some people argue that you are a great governor. And when I ask why, they mention how you made education free in Imo state and whatnot.  And I agree; free education is awesome, so long as it is free and quality at the same time. However, you and I know that most of the public schools in Imo State can hardly boast of offering quality education to students there. Most of these schools are in dilapidated conditions,  with students having to sit through classes on bare floors sometimes. There are hardly any functional libraries/labouratories in these schools. Let me not talk about the teachers, most of whom are grossly incompetent. What is the essence of free education when it is absolutely useless?! You see, it does sound good to have it on your CV that you made free education possible. But when the chips are down, we all know that this is nothing but a failed propaganda effort. Interestingly, you are not the first Nigerian politician to have adopted the method.

Lastly, I think that it is important for you and your team to quit copying what obtains elsewhere in the world, especially when it does not help the common man in Imo State. Agreed, countries such as Dubai and Spain do have some frivolous public establishments. But they also do have many other [highly functional] establishments that do far more serious works towards ensuring development and realising public good. Moreover, these so called countries you are trying to imitate are far more advanced technically and developmentally. As such, they can afford to build statues and establish ministries of Joy and Sadness. They have gone far ahead of us, past the very stage that your state is currently in. That said, it will be far more useful to first actualise material development in Imo State before seeking all that frivolities. Build roads, Good schools and other necessary infrastructures instead of statues. Also, establish public agencies tasked with creating jobs and ending unemployment.

There is an immediate need to bring an end to the mediocrity that is characteristic of Nigerian politics. Hopefully, this will happen soon.


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