The Anambra State House of Assembly on Friday urged Gov. Willie Obiano to direct the Commissioner for Housing to complete the abandoned Mazi Chidozie Ogbalu Igbo Language and Cultural Centre project.
The resolution followed a motion moved, under Matters of Urgent Public Importance, by Mr Emeka Aforka, representing Orumba North Constituency.
According to Aforka, completion of the centre will ensure the promotion and sustainability of Igbo Language and Culture.
“The state government commissioned and the laid the foundation of the Mazi Chidozie Ogbalu lgbo Language Centre, on May 11, 2011, to institutionalise, encourage and promote the sustainability of Igbo Language and Culture.
“That centre has been on the roofing stage for a long time and needs to be completed to help actualise the aim of setting it up.
“I believe that when that centre is completed, it will facilitate the teaching, learning, speaking and writing of Igbo Language.
“It will also provide a venue for the learning of Igbo Language during holiday period for children and youths who lost the opportunity of learning in their homes,” Aforka said.
He added that it would also serve as a centre for short-term course for teaching of Igbo Language to public servants and other adults who needed it.
The lawmaker noted that it would help to immortalise the memory of the foremost Igbo Language promoter, Mazi Chidozie Ogbalu, an indigene of the state.
Supporting the motion, Dr Nnamdi Okafor, Majority Leader and member representing Awka South I Constituency, said the legislature has a role to play in ensuring that Igbo Language and Culture did not go into extinction.
“As legislature, let us not fold our hands and watch our culture and values to go into extinction, because it will have a negative effect on our whole being and future,” he said.
Also, Mr Lawrence Ezeudu (Dunukofia) expressed worry that many parents from the Igboland had continued to show brazen preference for English Language to Igbo in conversing with their children.
Ezeudu said that it was in the best interest of children of Igbo origin to learn and speak their mother tongue rather than foreign languages.
According to him, people without the knowledge of their culture can be likened to a tree without roots.
“We can start by urging the governor to build Igbo Language and Cultural Centre in each of the 21 local government areas to start addressing this problem from the grassroots,” Ezeudu said.
The Deputy Speaker of the House, Dr Pascal Agbodike, who presided over the plenary, described language as “the identity, strength and pride of people all over the world.
“We must collectively preserve, promote and propagate the Igbo Language and Culture through completion of the centre,” he said.
THE GUARDIAN NG