The Executive Governor of Anambra State Chief Willie Obiano has declared this afternoon that henceforth, “Pupils and Students of Primary and Secondary Schools in the state are to dress to school every Wednesday in Igbo traditional attire,and mandatory use Igbo as a language of communication.”
Gov Obiano gave the directive during a ceremony to mark the relaunch of “Subakwa Igbo” in the State, at the Prof Dora Akunyili Women Dev Center, Awka. He used the opportunity to donate a bus to the organization to enhance their operations and activities.
The proceedings of the event centered on the need for Ndigbo to rediscover their identity and fight for its survival. It attracted key stakeholders in the quest for the promotion of Igbo Language and Culture including traditional rulers, Heads of Educational and religious institutions, civil Society organisations, Teachers, researchers, Pupils and Students.
Gov Obiano acknowledged that Igbo folklores and tales were greatly enriched with morals and life-sustaining traits that guarantees success, regretted that those invaluable aspects were unfortunately being jettisoned and replaced with western norms. He said its time for Ndigbo to rise to the challenge of addressing the threat of extinction on their mother tongue.
He then announced the dresscode, and that pupils and students should be exposed every Wednesday to other positive aspects of the Igbo culture and tradition like the folktales, traditional dances, preparation of local delicacies among others.
He commended Otu Subakwa Igbo for its efforts at promoting Igbo Language and Culture, and promised to continue to support the Organization to ensure that their vision to rekindle in the people the love for their natural language was achieved.
The Chairman of the occasion and former Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, while noting that Ndigbo are chiefly responsible for the setback which Igbo language has suffered, admitted that with genuine interest which the present administration has shown towards the project and the efforts of the Organization, there was hope for Igbo language.
He harped on the need for Ndigbo to hold tenaciously to APGA which he described as the only political party through which they can gain relevance in the country’s affairs.
The state’s Commissioner for Diaspora, Culture and Tourism, Mrs Stella Onuorah explained that the event was aimed at reawakening the consciousness of the people towards supporting the ongoing efforts at promoting Igbo language and culture.
In a presentation, the Founder, Otu Subakwa Igbo, Prof Pita Ejiofor said what the Organization has done was to galvanise stakeholders to appreciate the poor condition of Igbo language in the country and appealed to the state government to initiate proactive policies that would ensure that Igbo Language finds its way back to its rightful place.
He presented a documentary on the state of Igbo language.
Credits: Kingsley Ezekwelu