By Mercy Hill and Adejumoke Alebiosu
Amanuke Community has rolled out the drums to celebrate the new oldest man in the community, 94 year old Mokwugwu Ughanwa. The celebration which took place recently at Umuyom Village, Amanuke in Awka North Council Area, saw illustrious sons of the community, both at home and in the diaspora, converge at the residence of the nonagenarian to pay their respects and homage.
The celebration, according to the community, was one of the ways the town celebrated, respected and acknowledged the longevity of one of their own in the community. The individual is expected to stand firm in truth and honesty, as well as to uphold the tradition and culture of the community so it could easily be transferred to the younger generation.
Explaining further, Mr. Samuel Odogwu, who is also the chairman, Oba na Ese Amanuke, revealed that the celebration of the oldest man in the community was crucial as he was referred to as a living historian of the community.
He said the oldest man was also directed to institute the culture of the community in ensuring that things were done accordingly. He noted that “Otochali” (oldest man) was the father of the community who should be celebrated for attaining the age which he described as a non-contestable blessing from God and advised the community to rally round him with listening ears for more improved peace and togetherness among the people.
Contributing, Odogwu said the feast showed that the elders of the community accepted and re-allocated their ruling power to the oldest man in the community and bestowed him with the unchallengeable power to govern them on critical issues and decision making in the town for better interpretation and resolutions.
For Chief Nnaobu Okafor, the celebration of a new oldest man in the community was done after the demise of the late oldest man and as such the office over saw both the women’s wing in the community, the various age grades, youths and the traditional institution of the community, as they were all expected to seek wise counsel and advice from the Otochali in order not to go astray.
In his reaction, the celebrant, Chief Mokwugwu Ughanwa, with obvious joy expressed happiness over his position in the community and thanked God for helping him attain such height. He acknowledged that during his youthful age, he desired and cherished the position as it was one which its processes were undiluted, that brought happiness and satisfaction to the faces of all the villages in the community.
He prayed God to bless the community.