Imo West Senator, Rochas Okorocha, has called for the creation of Federal Ministry of Happiness to curtail the rising rate of suicide in Nigeria.
Speaking on a motion on the subject on Tuesday, Mr Okorocha said every case of suicide could be traced to unhappiness among the people.
This, he said, could be solved by dedicating a ministry to cater to issues relating to happiness of the citizens.
“Mr President, majority of Nigerians are not happy. Our nation is characterised with unhappiness…why would one want to take his life simply because he or she is tired of life? Many people commit suicide because they lack the ability to express themselves or to share their feelings with anybody,” he said.
The former Imo State governor said the issue cannot be addressed by any of the existing government agencies in the country.
In 2017, Mr Okorocha created the Ministry of Happiness and Purpose Fulfilment in Imo State much to the surprise of Nigerians who questioned the need and function of such ministry.
Buttressing his point, Mr Okorocha said the ministry turned out to be the most effective of all ministries.
“Senator Orji has mentioned the Ministry of Health, National Orientation Agency as a solution; most people are seeking where would they go to find happiness.
“If you recall, the entire constitution of America is centred around guaranteeing the happiness of the people. I want to state that let it be known that most Nigerians are not happy.
“All our prayers appear to me as though we are embarking on an academic exercise that might not reflect any practical reality. A step should be further taken to find out why these people are not happy to the extent that they will take their life.
“I think a department should be created to look into this issue. When I did create the Ministry of Happiness, it was perhaps the most misunderstood but the most effective ministry in Imo State, to address issues of this nature.”
He prayed the Senate to allow him to present on another legislative day a motion seeking the creation of Ministry of Happiness.
“If our policies do not guarantee the happiness of people, then it is a failed policy. Allow me the next time (next legislative day) to present a motion on the urgent need to establish a department of happiness.
“Mr Senate President, may I suggest that whether it is the issue of rape, suicide, let us create a department to address these issues. Ministry of Health is not up to that, Police is not equipped for that, Ministry of Information is not equipped for that, we must have a department where people can go and express themselves…and that ministry must be a ministry or department of happiness,” he concluded.
Speaking shortly after Mr Okorocha, the Deputy Senate Leader, Ajayi Borrofice, said the federal government should establish counselling centres instead of a Ministry Happiness.
“It cannot be just happiness alone,” he said.
Mr Borrofice urged Nigerians to be more watchful of the people around them and promptly report any suspicion.