The Odyssey of The Concerned Citizens of Ohafia International, (COCOI).

by Amos Kalu
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Matthew 25:42-45 :
“For I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me”.

The portion of the bible above where Our Lord Jesus Christ made this statement is outrightly and practically applicable to the philanthropic deeds and gestures of the prestigious and admirable socio-cultural organization, The Concerned Citizens of Ohafia International, (COCOI).

The organization, Concerned Citizens of Ohafia International (COCOI), which has now become (registered) one of the philanthropic organization to be reckoned within Ohafia and beyond, before now, was not known until during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic when Mr Kalu Nnachi (Oluwa), and Comrade Kalu MBA (Malam K )Hon Fred Eke Idika, former Ohafia Local Government chairman stumbled on the unfortunate situation of a blind widow in Elu Ohafia, Mama Orie, whom, in addition to being totally handicapped by her eyesight, but also, had sheltering challenges as her mud thatched house where she was living, was almost at the verge of collapsing without much of the needed supports and sympathies from the expected channels of her immediate environment or family members in salvaging her pitiable condition.

Moved by the pitiable plights of Mrs Orie, the duo of Mr Kalu Nnachi (Oluwa)and Malam K became so much “Concerned” on how the living conditions of Mama Orie could be improved upon, and started with the little cash at their disposal in making sure that Mama Orie’s soon to be collapse house got the timely needed face-lift.

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In the process of giving Mama Orie’s mud thatched house the needed facelift, (renovation), at the same time the idea of building entirely new cement modern home for Mama Orie was conceived as Mr Kalu Nnachi (Oluwa) and Malam K had kindly communicated the worrisome predicaments of Mama Orie who was facing sheltering challenges to good spirited Ohafians, who decided that the soon to be fall mud thatched house Mama Orie was living, should be demolished, and a new brand cement home be erected for Mama Orie.

Within few days, the idea of building a new cement home for Mama Orie became reality, as cash started flowing from good spirited Ohafians who supported the housing project for Mama Orie, in immesurably terms. Just like the saying goes in an Igbo axiom: “Igwe bu Ike”, in no distant time, Mama Orie became a home owner where she is currently residing today. It did not stop there as the Concerned Citizens of Ohafia International, (COCOI) made it a responsibility to follow up on the welfare of Mama Orie by supporting her with foodstuffs and cash at very short intervals.

After building the home for Madam Orie in Elu, COCOI beamed it search light in Amaekpu Ohafia, and found Chief Willy, a retired communitarian who was a renown town crier of repute, worthy to benefit from its philanthropic gestures. Before then, Chief Willy and his nonagerian mum had been living in licking thatched mud house.

The Concerned Citizens of Ohafia International, not particularly happy with the condition of Chief Willy as a community retiree with his aged mum, swung into action and built a cement three bedroom flat with modern toilet and kitchen within a short period of time for chief willy and mum. Presently, Chief Willy and mum are currently living in the brand new house built for them by COCOI as well constantly being looked after through support of food items and cash from COCOI to Chief Willy and his mum.

As an organization that has vowed to continue with its good gestures, COCOI is currently handling another building project at Okagwe Ohafia for the legendary Old Soldier. Old Soldier as a name in Ohafia, is name that is heard loud and clear through out the length and breath of Ohafia. Right from the early 90s till date, it is no news that Old Soldier has served Ohafia people meritoriously in his own capacity by living 80% percent of his life at the popular Old Soldier Junction day and night, (an intersection of Old Ohafia High School Road and the new Goodluck Jonathan Baracks Road at Ebem Ohafia) in maintaining adequate vehicular traffic control in the absence of government traffic equipment.

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When COCOI inquired of what to do for Old Soldier, it was gathered that Old Soldier is strong at heart but not physically fit to continue to perform what he has voluntary been doing in the more than 3 decades of service to the Ohafia public, which will prompt COCOI to decide that Old Soldier must have a resting home different from his family house. With that decision, the building project for Old Soldier was started-off, which is going to be handed over to him next month.

The Concerned Citizens of Ohafia International, (COCOI), and her activities are not just limited to building of houses to deserving Ohafians, but had embarked on other philanthropic activities which includes paying of hospital bills for number of patients who could not meet up with their hospital bills.
The latest of this hospital bill payment and support was paid last week for Chief Clement who has been discharged from the hospital.

As for what the future looks like for on the subsequent activities of the COCOI, there are plans by COCOI to diversify its humanitarianism gestures as it plans to award scholarships to deserving young Ohafia students/scholars which is a project that has been deliberated upon to kick-off early next year.

The thrusts or essentials of these academic programmes, according to COCOI, will entirely focus on rewarding academic excellence in an era where there has been decline in pursuits of academics by Ohafia youngsters. In order to achieve these lofty goals, there is going to be a random criteria for selecting who qualifies to benefit from the scholarship, which will reflect on the composition of the 26 villages in Ohafia for the purpose of inclusivity, which will be painstakingly scrutinized by the EXCOs of COCOI, in conjunction with the school authorities, and their recommendation of the prospective students who will benefit from the scholarships, squarely on merit basis.

To celebrate its maiden edition of Home Coming Ceremony, slated on the 31st of December, 2023, the Concerned Citizens of Ohafia International, (COCOI), is planning to hold a befitting grand event ceremony that will have all the creme de la creme of Ohafia Sons and Daughters home and in diaspora in attendance, including elected political office holders such as:
Engr Ikechukwu Emetu (FNSE), the Deputy Governor of Abia State, Honourable Chief Kalu Mba Kalu (Etiokwe Erieokwe), member representing Ohafia South State Constituency in the Abia State House of Assembly, Honourable Ibe Okwara Osonwa, House of Reps member representing Aro/Ohafia Federal Legislative Constituency, Chief Uche Ohafia and other prominent Ohafians too numerous to mention.

In conclusion, it will be apt to say that in practicality, the Concerned Citizens of Ohafia International, (COCOI), as a community based philanthropic organization, is living and staying on its core goals of adding values to the society, by rewarding humankind as well as upholding the tenets of the preaching of Love by our Jesus Christ, which derives from the book of: Mathew 25:42-45 :

“For I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me”.

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