Stakeholders chart course for sustenance of Igbo language

Stakeholders in Igboland on Tuesday came together to harp on the need to keep the Igbo Language alive.

They also decried the nonchalance of Igbo people on the fast disappearing existence of their language.

At a colloquium held in Enugwu-Ukwu Civic Center, Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, several personalities gave ideas as to how to keep the language away from extinction, enjoining all to ensure they always speak the language.

The President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Anambra State, Damian Okeke who was also at the event called for a law that will compel Igbos to speak the language and also dress in its cultural attire as a way of encouraging the customs and traditions of the people.

“We can start with Enugwu-Ukwu here that has held a yearly colloquium on this by asking that the traditional ruler of Enugwu-Ukwu, Ralph Ekpeh makes a law that would encourage all members of the community to speak Igbo.

The lead speaker, Professor of African and Contemporary studies at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Prof Ngozi Chuma-Udeh spoke on the theme: a community-based approach to promoting and sustaining the Igbo Language.

She queried Nigeria’s colonial masters for their disregard for the Igbo language and the imposition of the English Language on the people.

“The white man did well by coming to show us light, but in teaching us what they know and what they want us to learn, they should have looked well to see what we have that is worthy of preservation.

“Our language is our pride. Our people must learn to speak our language, so the prediction of UNESCO that the Igbo language is among those that will go extinct in 2050 does not come to pass,” she said.

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