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NEGLECT OF IGBO LANGUAGE BY IGBO PEOPLE

By NBF News
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I am using this medium to express my dissatisfaction over neglect of Igbo Language by our people the Igbos.

In the recent Hausa programme In B.B.C. entitled 'TABA I{IDI TABA KARATU' it was announced that Igbo Language is one of the Languages that will soon be forgotten on earth.

Infact, when I heard this, I nearly collapsed because this Hause BBC programme does not talk cock and bull stories. Whatever it says is always truth. . I have tested them in several occasions and proved their truthfulness.

This information had caused me sleepless night because ,what binds me with other Igbo people in other states will soon be no more.

This should not be taken lightly. Igbo leaders. Should not stand by to wait and see the day this prophecy will come to pass?

When this type of prophecy came to the people of Nineveh in the bible in the book of Jonah their leaders did not waste time or wait until everything spoils. As they say' action speaks louder than Voice'

What the king of Nineveh did was to declare a fasting and the people obeyed him and after the 'fasting, God withdrew His impending judgment against the land. Most of our people are like the woman who went one day to see her father-in-law, when she saw him, because of shame, she removed the wrapper she was tying and covered her face with it and left the most important private area of her body open.

Like this woman, most of our people place importance on things that are not important. And place less emphasis on what is very important. They want to imitate Oyibo culture but Oyibo is not ready to imitate their culture. They are' ashamed of their mother tongue that they can speak without any mistake but not ashamed of the Oyibo' Language they speak 'With more than ninety-nine grammatical errors.

If you doubt what I am saying, go to where palm-wine is sold in the evening. You will hear some expressions that even the owner of English language has not heard or spoken since he was born.

The cause of all these nonsense is because our people are not patriotic to their culture and language. Go to our neighbouring majority tribes like Yorubas and Hausas their professors prefer speaking their language to English Language.

But the parents of Nursery school children will prefer their children speaking French or German instead of their mother tongue.

As a 'school proprietor, if l-tell you the response of our school leavers who

Come for employment as teachers towards Igbo language, you will were. A giri in primary six in my school followed her elder sister to her University campus, this happened during our. mid-term break. To this girl's greatest surprise, She saw that the 1gbo alphabet which is taught in Nursery one and two in our school is what the undergraduants are learning.

Now my question is, what will debar our Nursery three pupils to become lecturers in Igbo departments in our universities?

When I went to Kano State with my elder brother some years ago, , ,I was forced to learn Hausa language and understand it under six months. These are people who are patriotic overĀ· their language. Even those educated ones, if you speak English language to them, they respond in Hausa language. So no language is greater than another, it depends on how the owners of the language handle it.

Nobody can boast of perfection in Engiish' language except perhaps, the owners of the language.

What I always do is, what I did not get clear in 'English language in the B.B.C., V.O.A or Dutch Radio Stations, I quickly run to these stations 'in their Hausa services and get it c1earer. Many of our Igbo people are like Mr. Bat who is not a bird and not also an animal

Their mother tongue they hate yet English language they do not understand.

This has made many of them political illiterates. B.B.C. broadcass four programmes everyday in Hausa 'language. V.G.A the same and many other powerful international stations.

So I am calling on the' Igbo stakeholders to make our people politically informed by rescuing the language. This will be possible by registering it in the powerful international stations like B.B.C . Voice of America, Dutch Radio etc. so that It will be part of their programmes. This will save the language from death and our people will see the superiority of it and make use of it judiciously like our neghbouring majority tribes in this Country Nigeria .

Ebi Anthony
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