The Eze Ogo Akanu Ohafia, Ohafia L.G.A Abia State, His Royal Highness Eze Ogo Mba Okereke, has said the Igba Uche tradition of the people marks the retirement age from active community service for every indigine of the community.
In a chat with ABN TV recently during the Igba Uche for two age grades, Egwuala and Abiriba who are between the ages of 65 to 68, the traditional ruler thanked the age grades for the completion of the civic Centre in their community which marks their retirement project.
The project was initiated by Okome and Okezie age grades who took the project to a roofing level and handed over to Egwuala and Abiriba who eventually completed it before their retirement.
Describing the civic centre as befitting, he said said it will be ready for use upon the completion of fixing of internal fittings.
Eze Okereke said the civic centre has about 50 restrooms, 5000 capacity Hall, VIP lounge, offices for union, lock up shops, restaurants and others.
At the next Igba Uche which he said has tentatively been fixed to take place next two years, the civic centre will be fully completed and ready for use.
The Igba Uche traditional retirement is performed in every four year cycle but sometimes less.
The Royal Father said step into the age grade system begins with Igba Nnunu, which means shooting down a bird as a child to indicate that one is man enough.
Izara Afa stage comes after Igba Nnunu at about the age of 30 while Igba Ekpe is another stage of age grade which commences at 40.
He noted that the Igba Uche which is the traditional retirement from community service does not exclude retirees from participating in community development, adding that it only indicates that certain responsibilities are reserved for the younger age grades.
He urged various age grades to put unity of purpose and patriotism at the forefront as well as sacrifice to achieve good results.
He called on them to be their brothers’ keepers, saying they should factor each other’s economic strength in carrying out their projects.