Rochas Okorocha, senator representing Imo west, says a happiness ministry should be created to tackle suicide and rape cases.

Okorocha said this on Tuesday while contributing to a debate on a motion sponsored by Theodore Orji, senator representing Abia central.

Orji’s motion was on the “rising incidence of suicides amongst Nigerians.”

Okorocha, an immediate past governor of Imo state, argued that a lot of people take their own lives because they lack the ability to express themselves or to share their feelings with anyone.

“Mr senate president, may I suggest that whether it’s the issue of rape, suicide, let us create a department to address these issues,” he said.

“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 – that ministry must be a ministry or department of happiness.

“All our prayers appear to me as though we are embarking on 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.”

While moving the motion earlier, the former Abia governor said suicide could be prevented “when family, friends and close relatives of the person contemplating suicide provide support.”

“Many people commit suicide out of ignorance and situations that could be addressed; and the people in the position to help, encourage or assist ignore to do so thereby leaving them to commit suicide at will,” he said.

The senate urged religious organisations in the country to preach love, peace and how to relieve stress.

It also urged the federal government to ban the production, importation or circulation of snipers insecticide — substance often used to commit suicide.