Just some few weeks after unveiling the statue of Jacob Zuma,  Rochas Okorocha the Imo State governor created a  new portfolio called the Ministry of Happiness and Purpose Fulfilment, ironically to the chagrin of many Nigerians.

Okorocha has been in the news for the most incredible reasons including building a statue for South African president Jacob Zuma. Six more statues remain uncompleted and are built from tax payer’s money.

The Ministry of Happiness and Purpose Fulfilment was created after Okorocha observed that the people of his state were bitter and needed their happiness archived for them reports say. The ministry was initially called the Ministry of Happiness and Couples Fulfilment.

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Okorocha appointed his sister Ogechi Lolo as the minister. In a BBC interview, Ogechi said “He did not create this position just because I am his sister.” Mrs Ogechi said many people did not understand the new ministry and with time they’d get to know what the ministry actually does.

In a press release, Okorocha defended the creation of the ministry by saying “There is no activity of mankind that is not geared towards providing happiness. Unfortunately, this vital element of our social lives has not been properly addressed. Governments at different levels have created several ministries and departments to achieve this, yet people are bitter, angry with hate speeches which lead to crisis, war and even terrorism.”

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The Ministry of Happiness and fulfilment comes at a time when Nigeria is starting to face fuel scarcity and when Nigerians are calling for an end of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit in the Nigerian Police Force. The creation of that ministry, some have seen it as a distraction from the on-going #EndSARS campaign that is garnering international media attention.

Reports say workers and pensioners in Imo State have not received several months of their salary. Many have confronted the use of taxpayer’s money to build statues and create a ministry that’s not relevant to the needs of the people. Okorocha’s sister had served as his Deputy Chief of Staff before the new appointment.

Nigerians on social media reacted to the news with anger and questioned the appointment. The creation of the ministry has been compared to the existing ministry of happiness in the United Arab Emirates despite the huge disparity economically, structurally between the UAE and Imo State.