UNIZIK sets up N696m centre to promote Igbo language

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Awka
The management of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka in Anambra State has established a Directorate of Igbo Village and Centre for African Civilisation (IVACAC) to save Igbo language from extinction. The construction of the centre will cost N696.376million.
At the maiden Ohazurume Igbo festival, fund raising and awards, the Director, Directorate of Igbo Village and Centre for African Civilisation, Rev Fr Bonachristus Umeogu, said that collectively the money would be raised to build a befitting centre for IVACAC in UNIZIK and appealed for support to make it a reality.
Prof. Umeogu said that IVACAC is set up to ensure that Igbo traits and natural inclinations are in consonance with the Igbo spirit and as well connect Igbo civilisation to its source.
He said that the centre would excavate the contributions of great Igbo heroes such as the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Michael Okpara and Prof. Chinua Achebe among others as well as indigenising researches by instituting Igbo studies in areas of Igbo Science, Igbo Medicine, Igbo Engineering and Igbo Architecture.
The centre, according to him, is also to preserve the Igbo spirit amidst the progress of Igbo civilisation.
Umeogu added that the centre would act as the conscience of Igbo people, foster and preserve Igbo civilisation in the world as well as using the Igbo spirit to a�?organically measure and maintain the order and homogeneity of Igbo civilisation amidst changing and heterogeneity of Igbo times.a�?
In his address, the institutiona��s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku, said that UNIZIK was responding to the fear of the eclipse of Igbo language and culture hence the school decided to set up the Igbo Village and Centre for African Civilisation to research, revive and revitalise Igbo language and culture in the context of contemporary times and to promote/propagate same in tandem with African civilisation.
Ahaneku appealed to Igbo to assist the university in making it the centre of attraction in Igbo land.
In his lecture, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, commended Ahaneku for instituting General Studies in Igbo in the university to ensure that every student graduating from the institution had a smattering of Igbo language and culture.
Nwodo described it as a milestone in advancing the culture and language of the South East region..
He frowned at the attitude of parents who not only discourage their children from grasping the language and culture, but ensures they do not speak it with them at home even as he appealed to parents to be vanguards of the promotion of the language and culture at all times and shun those who refer to Igbo language and culture as vernacular.

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