Struck by the prediction that the Igbo language might go into extinction by the year 2050, an Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Igboezue International, has stated that the prediction by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, would never come through.
The President General of the group, Mazi Pius Uchenna Okoye, revealed this during the 1st International Summit/Launching of a N500 million Ultra Modern Secretariat and Civic and Skills Acquisition Centre, held in Awka, Anambra State.
The group considered the prediction as an insult and has sworn that this would never be, as some people would say, “over my dead body.”
“This prediction we considered as an insult, aberration, a sacrilege and we have therefore resolved never to allow this happen in this generation or in others to come.
“We have also remained in the vanguard for the promotion and protection of our cultural heritage. We give credence to moral values and ethos that anchors on discipline, truth, respect and patriotism among others”, Okoye said
Speaking on some other roles played by the organisation in society and the scope of the group, Mazi Okoye cited cases where the group fought injustice, championed the cause of good governance and provided a platform to discuss the Igbo agenda and interests.
“We are a pressure group that has taken the front burner in fighting any injustice, marginalisation and insults against Igbo ethnic nationality.
“We deployed our media networks and fought vigorously against the activities of the Hausa/Fulani herdsmen, opposed the grazing bill; illegal detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and Chief Ifeanyi Ubah”.
“We are seriously championing a cause for good, purposeful and visionary governance, using constitutional measure available to us”.
“Today’s occasion is part of our mission and vision of providing credible platform to discuss Igbo agenda and interest in the entity called Nigeria. Thus, to identify the place of Igbo man in Nigeria.
“We are equally deeply concerned about the level of gross injustice, gang up and marginalisation of the Igbo ethnic group by the federal government”, he posited.
He further lamented the plight of Igbo youths who, according to him, are highly talented and laden with potentials but are frustrated into Biafra agitation as a means of expressing their anger.
He assured participants and donors at the event that the proposed Civic Centre, when completed, will serve as a means of keeping unemployed youths busy and to teach them skills to become employers of labour instead.
Speaking at the event, the National Patron of the group and the Gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Progressive Alliance, Mr. Godwin Ezeemo, commended the group for the initiative and promised to support them in their strive to enhance the Igbo culture and language.
On his part, the Guest Lecturer, Chief Pius Chukwuemeka Ezeife, stated that current political tension being witnessed in the country could spell doom for the country if nothing is done to address the political and economic crises in the country.
“The tension being caused by political and economic crises, if not addressed may prematurely disintegrate the ethnic groups and the country at large.”
“There is so much hunger and insecurity in the land! Corruption has become the culture! Having looked critically into the agitations and the strategies, we have seen the need for a change of strategy and approach”, he said.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman of the Occasion, Senator Annie Okonkwo, commended the organisers of the event, stating that the group is different from other socio-cultural groups in Igbo land.
He further restated his commitment to the Igbo course, promising to support any group that is out to ensure the success of Igbo people.
“There is no land like Igbo land. We are blessed. People dislike the Igbo because of their achievements. I believe that this group will be a centre of Igbo knowledge, tradition and culture”, he said.