Commissioner for happiness: Jonathan’s aide, NAN deceived by parody Twitter account

Reno Omokri

Former media aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, and some other Twitter users have been deceived by a parody Twitter account created for the Imo State Commissioner for Happiness.

Governor Rochas Okorocha had on Monday announced the appointment of his younger sister, Ogechi Ololo, as commissioner for happiness and purpose fulfilment to the shock of millions of Nigerians.

Among those who criticised the bizarre appointment was Omokri, who asked in a Twitter post: “What sin did Imo people commit to deserve this embarrassment as their Governor?”

Responding, the parody Twitter account, which had been posting hilarious comments as Mrs Ololo, made a very crude remark about Mr Omokri’s birth.

Unaware that the account was fake, Omokri responded in like manner, pointing out that the commissioner could not spell “quite” and that she should blast Nigerians with “happiness not insults”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was also deceived by the parody account.

In a report on Tuesday, the news service reported: “Ololo, on her twitter handle @MrsOgechiOlolo which she joined in December, in response to series of criticism on her appointment expressed surprise at the ‘outbursts of young Nigerians’ against Okorocha over the appointment.”

Quoting the fake account, NAN wrote: “The Commissioner said the mandate of her office includes ensuring citizens of Imo state remain happy despite the economic meltdown and Biafran fiasco.

“Others include ensuring couples in Imo state have a reduced divorce rate and better fulfilled marriages and cater to welfare for the average Imo indigene.”

Speaking with the BBC, the real Ololo – who was previously her brother’s chief of staff, as well as being special adviser on domestic matters – assured that her appointment was a vital move which people would understand “with time”.

“Happiness is something that is still lacking,” she said, while acknowledging it could “mean anything to anybody”.

She added: “My role is to create positive attitudes for our Imo people.”

Day to day, she explained, the ministry would be ensuring policies designed to make people happy, like free education, were being handled properly and benefiting the community.

“This ministry is policy-driven,” she said, rejecting suggestions it might be an unnecessary additional layer of government.