Prof. Ihechukwu Madubuike, Director, Igbo Renaissance at the Gregory University, Uturu (GUU), Abia State, Nigeria, said on Saturday that the university would soon introduce the Igbo language as a compulsory course in the second year.
Mr. Madubuike announced this at Uturu during the 6th edition of the Igbo (Uturu) Cultural Carnival, which held at the university.
“By the next two years, the university plans to
introduce the Igbo language as a compulsory subject for all students in the second year.”
“Whether you are Yoruba, Hausa or Efik, you must take Igbo as a compulsory subject, in spite of your area of specialisation,” he said.
Mr. Madubuike described the Igbo language as the “soul of the culture of Ndigbo”, adding that the disappearance of the language would mean the ultimate death of the culture.
Earlier, the traditional ruler of Oko in Anambra state, Laz Ekwueme, called for concerted efforts by people of the South-East to save the Igbo language from going extinct.
Mr. Ekwueme, who was the chairman of the carnival, expressed regret that the Igbo language was under serious threat, due to the decline in its usage as a means of communication in various families.
He noted: “More often, nowadays, you find many parents communicating with their children and relations in the English language, rather than the Igbo language.”
Mr. Ekwueme said that the development was capable of endangering the Igbo language, if not promptly checked.
The monarch, who was a former Minister of Education, did commend the Chancellor of the University, Dr. Greg Ibe, for initiating the carnival.
“Anything that is done to encourage the sustenance of the Igbo language and culture would be encouraged,” he said.
Mr. Ekwueme noted that the event would add value to similar efforts designed to re-establish and reinforce the Igbo culture.