Where do I start from on Governor Okorocha of Imo State of Nigeria latest political gaffe especially on the appointment of his blood sister as the new commissioner for Happiness and Couples’ Fulfilment, let me just start from the conclusion. Mr. Okorocha, I guess must have read about Jeremy Bentham, an English philosopher and political radical who was widely known for his moral philosophy particularly his theory on hedonistic calculus….principle of utilitarianism that emphasizes on the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. But Okorocha is not a good student of political philosophy or may I say, he is a misfit at approximating Bentham’s hedonistic theory into political reality in this time and age.
The governor’s latest appointment of his sister to head a newly created ministry called “Happiness and Couples’ Fullfilment” in Imo State, Nigeria confirms this assertion.
Prior to the latest political error committed by Governor Okorocha in the politics of Imo State, there are plethora accounts of his elevated politics of clientelism since he became the number one citizen that more than often involved around implicit or explicit quid-pro-quo and an asymmetric relationship between groups of political actors described as Okorocha’s patrons, brokers, and clients. Still, a case in focus is the new commissioner for Happpiness and Couples’ Fulfilment, the governor’s blood sister, Mrs. Ogechi Ololo (nee Okorocha) who was the All Progressives Congress’ candidate into the House of Representatives for the Owerri Federal Constituency seat in 2015 and who also has served in various capacities since his brother, Governor Okorocha became the state helmsman in 2011.
She had, before her new appointment, served as her brother’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Special Adviser on Domestic Matters.
Politically speaking, happiness and well-being should be at the centre stage of governance but how the governed become happy is not by creating a ministry of Happiness and Couples’ Fulfillment based on prebendalistic colouration and cronyism. No, people only become happy and fulfil their aspirational ambitions when government embrace good governance through sound public policy.
Like Richard Layard somewhere argued “ the best societies are those with the most happiness and the least misery and that public policy should be made on this basis” This is what Governor Okorocha does not fathom!
There is no magic wand that the newly created ministry of Happiness and Couples’ Fullfilment can perform in the face of chronic poverty and aspirational deprivations that are currently facing the majority of the people of Imo State, Nigeria. The only magic the new ministry purposely created for the governor’s sister will perform, is to further enrich Okorocha’s family and further consolidate the milking of the people’s commonwealth. It is so sad that in a state where everybody knows that the civil servants are hungry but the government insists that they must wear suits and ties to pretend that they are happy, has further worsen the situation by creating a new ministry that will soon be rolling out white elephant projects for Imo citizens happiness and quixotic fullfilments.
It is pathetic to know that Governor Okorocha has still not understood that in a way after his administration’s destruction of peoples’ markets and erected many statues that have little or no significance to their culture, tradition, history or economics nor any positive impact on his citizens would still further worsen their economic condition by his erractic policy and misgovernance of establishing a new ministry called Happiness and Couples’ Fulfilment to further consolidate Imo indigenes many agonies. It is really sad!
Let, Chief Dr. Rochas Anayo Okorocha, the title loving governor of Imo State know that what will bring happiness and fulfillment to the vast majority of the people of Imo State is not the newly created ministry of Happiness and Couple’s fulfillment headed by Ololo his sister and crony in government. What will bring the hedonistic calculus as espoused by Jeremy Bentham whose political theory I suspect the governor must have read but childishly and prebedally implemented are but not limited to the following.
The governor should as a matter of urgency find a way to reactivate the grounded economic and businesses that are at comatose state across the 27 local government councils and also desist from paralyzing democratic participations and involvement at the grassroots by way of tolerating the opposing parties and allow periodic local government elections to take place at the grassroots in the state. Not only that, Okorocha should concentrate more on governance rather than politics in the state and stop making a mockery of the highly exalted office of the governor by examplyfing good character and conduct in a way that befits that office. The governor periodic boasts and public display of wealth in the face of chronic poverty is inhuman and only portrays him as a selfish and unreasonable character.
Governor Okorocha should equally know that no happiness and fulfilment can be achieved in a polity where workers are being owed salaries and arrears and pensioniers daily cry to have their rightful stipends. No ministry of Happiness and Couples’ Fullfilment will be able to create such a forlorn hope or state of happiness where this exist. The governor should therefore as another matter of urgency deliver on his promise to commence payment of salaries, arrears and pensions owed his citizens to create the happiness he dreams of in the state.
Lastly, the manufacturing sector in the state, the agricultural sector, the security sector as well as effective engagement of youths and the unemployed in productive economic activities all require attention. The governor should not also forget that the state of the education in the state requires urgent attention. When all these are attended to by Chief Rochas Okorochas and his team, only then the Imo people can be happy and fulfill. To end this, ‘His Execellency, Chief( Dr) Rochas Owelle Okorocha, the executive governor of Imo State, Nigeria, stand out!, Imo State does not need a ministry of Happiness and Couple’s Fulfillment to fulfill her destiny presently in your hands — Imo State only requires you to wake up and embrace good governance that will lead her to the path of happiness and fulfillment’.
Femi Ojo is a political scientist by academic training, a media communications strategist, blogger and an aspiring public intellectual who lives in Lagos, Nigeria.