Group urges parents, governments to promote indigenous languages

Igede Development Association, a group consisting of Igede, Benue State indigenes resident in Anambra State has urged parents and governments at all levels to promote the learning and speaking of indigenous languages in the country.

Igede people, which has over six million in population, is the third largest tribe in Benue State; while it has a sizable population in Anambra.

The President of the association, Anambra Chapter, Mr Patrick Akobo, said this in Onitsha, Anambra during the installation of the new Ad’Igede III, Chief Matthew Omenka, who is also the paramount ruler of Igede people in Anambra.

Akobo noted that a child that cannot speak his mother tongue, not to talk of writing in the indigenous dialect would be seen as a “social misfit”.

“It is deplorable that many educated families in Nigeria do not allow their children to speak their native dialects. They confuse their children with broken English, which is a socially unacceptable type of English.

“And with this development, these children loss not only the language; they also loss other important parts of their cultural heritage,” he said.

Akobo noted that the association had established an Igede Language Study Centre in Onitsha, in order to further promote the language and cultural heritage of Igede people.

“With the centre, we would imbibe in our children virtues that would encourage our great cultural heritage and positive mindset for true development,’’ he said.

In a speech, the Ad’ Igede III in Anambra, Chief Omenka, thanked the entire Igede people for the trust they repose on him as well as mammoth crowd that attended his installation.

“I would work to maintain those positive traits which Igede people Worldwide is known for, which include being humane, loving, being careful in whatever they want to say or do. We also want to use this occasion to commend Gov. Gabriel Suswam for creating a first class chiefdom for Igede people in Benue State,’’ Omenka said.

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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