By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—Imo State Government says it would construct Igbo Development Centre, which would ensure that the Igbo language does not go extinct.
Governor Okorocha, who stated this yesterday while launching Ikoro, an Igbo newspaper in Owerri, also ordered that all subjects, including Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry and all, would be taught in Igbo.
“The prediction making the round is that Igbo language will go extinct in no distant date. It would be sad if we allow this to materialize.”
The Governor named the Deputy Vice Chancellor, DVC, Imo State University, Owerri, Professor Jerome Ikechukwu Okonkwo, as the Director General of the new Igbo Development Centre.
He charged the DVC to come up with ideas and policies that would ensure the sustenance of Igbo language and culture.
Speaking also, the Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Chief Acho Ihim, said the lawmakers would do everything possible to ensure that Igbo language does not go extinct.
The Speaker also revealed that already, a Bill for a Law to this effect has passed through the second reading in the House of Assembly.
“The Bill for a law, for the teaching and learning of Igbo language has passed through second reading in the Assembly. When signed into law by the Governor, it would be mandatory for the subject to be taught at all levels in all schools in the state”, Ihim said.
Delivering a lecture at the event, Professor Okonkwo advised against multiplicity of autonomous communities in the state.
“It is advisable that anybody angling to be a royal father in Igboland, must first be tested in the customs and traditions of Igboland,” he said.
. This idea of enthroning all manner of persons as royal fathers in Igboland ought to stop”, Okonkwo said.
He also expressed regret that Igbos are now lagging behind in national affairs and hardly are in a position to feed themselves.
“What has happened to farm settlements established in the former Eastern Region. In just Owerri municipality, over 100 cows are killed everyday. With a minimum of N120,000 per cow, residents of the municipality part with over N12 million daily. This finding excludes cows, goats, rams slaughtered in other towns in the state. When you add up the cost of cows slaughtered in all parts of the South East, you will then appreciate the high level of capital flight”, Okonkwo lamented.