From Ogbonnaya Ndukwe, Aba
Pastoral benevolence in reconstructing dilapidated structures and awarding scholarships to indigent students was all that saved the people of Ikwuorie community in Abia State from having their secondary school closed down.
The Ikwuorie Community Comprehensive Secondary School, Ohanku Ndoki, Ukwa East Council Area, would also have been deregistered by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) as an examination centre due to its ramshackle facilities.
But many thanks to one of the sons of the area, the general overseer of Omega Power Ministry (OPM), Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Apostle Chibuzor Chinyere, who reconstructed all dilapidated structures in the school and awarded scholarships to students in junior and senior secondary classes.
Apostle Chinyere, who had conducted annual thanksgivings with gifts and social amenities to his people, said he was pushed into rebuilding the school, including its National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) quarters, following a distress call from the school authorities. He said the principal told him that the Abia State government was about to close down the school due to withdrawal of many students for nonpayment of school fees.
The distress call, he stated, led him to award scholarships to all pupils and he asked for the recall of those that had stopped attending classes.
“I acted on a call I received from the principal, who said government was about to close the school due to low population.
“I asked them, if 50 children go back to school, whether they would still close it. I then decided to give every student of the school scholarship from junior secondary classes to the senior secondary classes because many of them could not pay,” the cleric said.
Chinyere also provided lockers for the students as well as a power generator for use by NYSC members posted to the school.
Pleased with the gesture, the people expressed gratitude to God for giving the community a son like Apostle Chinyere.
A community leader in Ohanku Ndoki, Chief Reginald Ogudu, thanked him for investing in their children’s future, noting that the ‘man of God’, had earlier provided lucrative jobs for many young people from Ikwuorie.
Ogudu also said many indigent students had received scholarship awards to study in Turkey, Poland and the United States through the cleric, and prayed God for his continued sustenance.
An Anglican priest, Chibuike Nwachi, also expressed happiness on Chinyere’s commitment towards helping the community and seeing to the academic wellbeing of its children.
He said: “He established a free nursery and primary school in Ohanku and has been assisting indigent students in secondary and tertiary institutions.
“He secured eight international jobs for Ohanku youths and is training 25 others free of charge at his OPM Skills Acquisition Training Centre in Port Harcourt, in various skills.”
Principal of the school, Ihenyerechi Dike, said he and the college community were happy about the involvement of the OPM general overseer, Apostle Chinyere, in reconstructing the dilapidated structures.
He also expressed gratitude to God, noting that the gesture was a welcome development.
“I am very happy with the gesture and, in fact, the entire school community, including the village are happy.
“It is a welcome development, though the scholarship will commence in the next academic calendar year. We are happy, indeed, and this is the beginning of good things to come,” the principal said.