Igbo Language Faces Imminent Threat Of Going Extinct

Igbo Language Faces Imminent Threat Of Going Extinct
  • PublishedJanuary 23, 2019

The Igbo Language faces an imminent threat of going extinct in Nigeria, should parents continue to discourage their children from speaking the language says Mrs Anulika Abbu, an educationist in Enugu state in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday.

She expressed worry that many parents from the Igboland had continued to show brazen preference for the English Language to Igbo in conversing with their children.

She said that it was in the best interest of the children of Igbo origin to learn and speak their mother tongue rather than foreign languages.

According to Abbu, “a people without the knowledge of their culture can be likened to a tree without roots.”

She described language as “the identity, strength and pride of a people all over the world.”

The educationist regretted that many Igbo parents deliberately chose to avoid the use of Igbo Language as a means of communication in their homes.

“Rather than converse with their children in their native language, they often preferred all their conservations in the English Language,” she said.

She described the development as “a misnomer and misplaced priority,” pointing out that most Igbo children were gradually becoming strangers in their own land.

Abdu said,: “If the children understood the language from the cradle, it will be part of them throughout their life time.

“It is our culture that defines us and makes our children behave well.
“We have a lot of misbehaviour and abnormality today because our language, which is a product of our culture, has been eroded.

“Let us not fold our hands and watch our culture and values go into extinction because if we do, it will have a serious negative effect on our whole being and future.”

Abbu called on the South-East governors not to relent in their efforts at ensuring that the Igbo Language remained a compulsory subject in all public and private schools, like Hausa and Yoruba.

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