By Essien Ndueso
Let’s assume the Ministry has at least five directorates, under the Director of Happiness, Director of Couples, Director of Sex and Kisses, Director of Stomach Infrastructure and Director of Comedy and Statues as well as Director of Dating and Sit-Out Affairs. Obviously the use of the word couple means that the relationship does not necessarily have to be between two married adults, as long as two people come together with the intent of being happy. With each directorate boasting of 50 – 100 staff, that is about 1000 new jobs for Imo people. There is bound to be Deputy Directors for Old People’s Happiness, Deputy Director for Young People’s happiness and deputy Director for adult Happiness, etc. This progression cuts through the entire directorates, including accommodating several departments such as that oral sex, protective sex, and other styles that can bring about happiness to Imo couples, both married or unmarried.
When the news first broke out that the Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has created a new ministry to oversee happiness and fulfillment among couples, APC fans in Akwa Ibom were the first to jump into his defense. A woman leader of a wing of APC in Akwa Ibom, Miss Imaobong Akpan Akpan came out immediately to dismiss the news as false, alleging that it was mischievously created by PDP media goons to embarrass the national ruling party. Apparently she could not believe that a governor her party holds in high esteem could be identified with such frivolous disposition, as creating a ministry that will put smiles and happiness on the faces of hungry Imolites. A man seen as a symbol of the best of APC, should not be identified with anything but the best of achievements among his contemporaries.
Without any fear of being controverted, I beg to ask, have we not seen more enough landmark achievements from APC and Governor Rochas Okorocha? Maybe for the purpose of emphasis, it is pertinent to ask, was is not this same Governor who erected billboards around major towns of Imo State to showcase a handshake he had with former US President Barack Obama, as a major achievement? Is this not the same politician that jettisoned local government administration in Imo State, and for six years the local government areas have been ruled by cronies handpicked by the Owelle himself? A state where the only projects for commissioning are statues of African heads of states enmeshed in one controversy or the other. Anyway, when disposed later, I will take a look at the other achievements of this administration in Imo state.
Recently, Mr Okorocha was in Uyo where he mounted the rostrum to campaign for the capture of Akwa Ibom State by the All Progressives Congress, APC. The Owelle, is the Chairman of the APC Governors’ forum, and by implication the model of that ideal leader that APC can profess. Anything done in Imo State under the Owelle, can be rightly said to be the most that can be expected of any leader put forward by the APC in any state it controls. That is why Okorocha is the one championing the cause of change in Akwa Ibom, as seen at the Uyo township stadium where he clamoured for Akwa Ibomites to embrace the change that his party alone can bring.
But then, so many people are doubtful of the ability of the ministry to actually bring about happiness and fulfillments to couples in the state. This is not so difficult to fathom. First, the Ministry of Happiness and Couples Fulfillment is a full fledge ministry of Government. Its creation means that there are new jobs for hundreds of Imo people. The choice of Mrs Ogechi Ololo, his younger sister as pioneer commissioner, means that the happiness must begin from Rochas Okorocha’s immediate family. If my binoculars see clearly, then I see any of his aged relations heading the Department of Old Peoples Happiness. It means that Old Rochas is not bothered by what anyone says and can go the length and breadth to make himself and those around him happy. It will not be impossible to see his son, appointed as a Director in the Department of Video Games and Feeding Bottle Matters, or Department of whatever else gives young people happiness. But are these over 1000 new management team of the new ministry not going to patronize the Imo market and stimulate the economy? The inability of Mr Okorocha to pay regular civil servants their wages, does not mean that this new ministry staffers will not be waged. But even if he does not, there are a million ways of being happy. With a favourable environment, maybe subsidy on accommodation and hospitality facilities, couples can easily get down to business.
What this means is that, whether civil servants are owed up to seven months salary, or teachers are tired of going to work without being paid for more than five months, or even if pensioners are dying from years of unpaid pension and gratuity, they simply need to smile away their sorrows and pains, and get happy. The progression is simple, after seeing the giant effigies of a male randy South African leader and a female Liberian leader, a beleaguered Imolite can simply find one partner and together get to the relevant department at the Ministry of Happiness and Couples Fulfillment to while away time in ecstasy.
It doesn’t matter if there are no roads to lead to this happiness and ecstasy ministries, especially if the red gravels had parted ways with the brownish tar used in manually decorating the few recently executed roads. It doesn’t matter if the roads left, are those executed since the days of Chief Sam Mbakwe or Rtd Major General Ike Nwachukwu, as long as the people can get happiness by simply spending the day looking at the face of a commissioner who does not look happy herself. After all in elementary mathematics, it was usually said that two negatives make one positive.
Ndueso, a journalist writes from Uyo