Apparently, the government of the United Arab Emirates, created the Ministry of Happiness and Wellbeing in February 2016, and it appears that is what Governor Okorocha decided to emulate in Imo state.
According to the UAE authorities, the aim of the ministry is to promote the government’s plans, programmes and policies and ultimately, to promote the happiness of the UAE society.
In a recent interview in Dubai, the head of the ministry, simply identified as Roumi, said her Ministry is not what people should laugh about as it is very important and scientific.
In her words “This is serious business for the government. What is the purpose of government if it does not work toward the happiness of the people? It’s the duty and role of the government to create the right conditions for people to choose to be happy.”
She added that “Those conditions include creating an environment in which people feel empowered, and providing sound infrastructure, opportunities for a good education, jobs and healthcare, and ensuring that people feel safe and secure. We have no intention as a government to impose happiness, or mandate it, or force it. We’re just doing the right thing for our people … so they can have a better life.”
Speaking further, Roumi said ‘Some people may laugh at the idea of nurturing happiness, thinking it is silly and fluffy. I assure you, it’s a science. It touches on medicine, health, social sciences. We’re trying to bring it from a broad framework into a daily practice in our society [and] in our government.”
Amongst the strangest requests she says she gets include ‘My parents won’t accept my marriage. Can you help convince them?’, ‘I got a traffic ticket. Can you fix it?’ or sometimes it’s just a humble appeal: Please make us happy’
On her reply to the Lady that asked her to convince her parents to accept her marriage, Roumi said
‘“I told her, ‘You need to convince them. This is your life. I’m sorry, I would love to help, but this is not part of my scope.”