Deputy Governor of Imo State, Rt. Hon. Gerald Irona disclosed this while receiving a Civil Society Organisation, Green Pathway Initiative in his office in Owerri, weekend.
Speaking in Igbo language, Irona, who lamented what he described as the decline in the use of Igbo language promised that the Government will look into it, with a view to ensuring that something is done urgently to remedy the situation.
He promised to discuss with the Governor, the reintroduction of the Bill to make Igbo language compulsory at all levels of education to the State House of Assembly, arguing that language is part of a people’s identity that must be preserved.
“Every tribe has an identity. One of the identities of a people is their language. It is unfortunate that a lot of our children neither speak nor understand Igbo language. I commend the Igbofo group for their efforts in preserving the Igbo language. It is a step in the right direction. I will discuss the details with critical stakeholders, with a view to seeing how to take it forward. I will discuss with the Governor and I know he will be interested in making this work.”
“The Green Pathway initiative is an excellent idea. It aligns with the present administration’s programme of returning to nature. This will be encouraged, as it is one of our areas of interest. We must conserve our environment. We must clean our environment. We must work together in ensuring that the government of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha succeeds.”
Earlier in her speech, leader of the delegation and founder of Igbofo and Green Pathway Initiative, Professor Frances Chukwukere poured encomiums on the state Governor, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, describing him as a man full of wisdom.
She described the Governor and his Deputy as a set of incorruptible and ideal civil servants, endowed with the capacity needed to take Imo State forward..
“The nomination of Rt. Hon Gerald Irona as Deputy Governor did not come to us as a surprise. The combination is what Imo State really needs at this point to move forward. In all their years in public service, none of them has been linked with any scandal whatsoever; they have not been linked with any form of corruption or bribery; Ihedioha/Irona is the ideal combination for a new Imo State. None has any negative record. These are sterling qualities that the Igbos need at this stage of our history. With you, Imo is on the path of greatness.”
Adding his voice, a clergy, Rev. Father Uzoma Okwara called on the State Government to take steps to save the Igbo language from extinction.
He informed the Deputy Governor of a Bill earlier introduced at the State House of Assembly, aimed at making Igbo language compulsory, from kindergarten to University level in the state.
“Igbofo as a Bill had passed through first and second reading at the Imo State House of Assembly before the end of the last administration. We urge you to support the reintroduction of that Bill in the State Assembly.”
Highlights of the occasion were presentation of awards to the deputy governor, Rt. Hon. Gerald Irona, in recognition of his contributions and service to humanity, presentation of books, among others.