The Contributions of Age Grade System in Community Development in Ohafia Land of Abia State, Nigeria.
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THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF AGE GRADE SYSTEM IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN OHAFIA LAND OF ABIA STATE, NIGERIA.
Mba, Ahamefula Uka, PhD
Department of History and International Studies
Hezekiah University Umudi, Nkwerre Imo, Nigeria
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J.I.D. Anene, PhD
Department of Public Administration
Hezekiah University Umudi Nkwerre Imo State, Nigeria
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Phone Number: +234-08033390253
Department of Systematic Theology
Hugh Goldie Theological Institute, Arochukwu, Abia State, Nigeria
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Phone Number: +234-7037510875
In Ohafia land, just like other Cross River Igbo group, age grade formation has been instrumental to socio-political and economic advancement of the people. It is one of the peoples’ cultural expressions that has survived the pangs of modernity. In that, it has been a major instrument of socialization in the Community, thus the platform for the promotion of harmonious relationship and development. In that regard, it is not unusual among the people to note that, over 90% of social amenities in Cross River Igbo communities are provided by the age grades. The importance of age grade system in Igbo land has equally conferred on them, the honor and the responsibilities of making laws, enforcing them, as well as securing the Community from both internal and external aggressions. This is apart from their primary objective of the provision of basic amenities. For long, the contributions of the age grade to societal development have been neglected by successive governments in the areas where they are practiced, and this has drawn the attention of this research work. Local government and even the state governments as the second and third tiers of political administration can work more efficiently through collaborative efforts with the age grade institution in promoting social welfare, thereby bring more dividends of democracy to the grassroots. How this could be achieved is the focus of this research.
Keywords: Age Grade, Council of Elders, Projects, Cross River Igbo and Development.