By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka—LEADERS in Igboland, including Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State, yesterday, announced measures to prevent the extinction of Igbo language.
At a meeting organised by the Society for the Promotion of Igbo Language and Culture in Awka, they observed that if adequate measures were not taken immediately, the tendency would be for the language, spoken in seven states, to go into extinction.
As part of the measures, Governor Obiano said he would float a radio station that would transmit only in Igbo and directed that henceforth, primary school pupils and students in the secondary schools in the state would wear Igbo traditional dresses to school every Wednesday.
The governor said the measures would be his administration’s contribution to prevent the Igbo language from going into extinction and berated parents for abdicating their duty in teaching their children the Igbo language and culture.
According to Obiano, folklore would be taught to primary school children every Wednesday, noting that the ones he learned while growing up helped in guiding his behaviour and relationship with people till date.
Chairman of the occasion, Chief Victor Umeh, described language and religion as the identity of a people and commended the colonial masters for not destroying native languages.
Chairman of Otu Suwakwa Igbo, Professor Pita Ejiofor, observed that Igbo people have not helped in making the language popular.
He wondered why other languages, including Hausa, should form part of the programmes of international radio stations, but none of them considered Igbo language good enough to form part of their programmes.