Conference: Igbo Cultural Village in UNN will promote language, traditions, others


Dr. Nwachukwu Anakwenze (Onuwu Abagana),
Chairman, Board of Presidents of the Council of Igbo States in America says the aim of building Igbo Cultural Village Complex (ICVC) in University of Nigeria Nsukka is to promote Igbo language, culture and traditions.

Anakwenze disclosed this virtually in Nsukka over the weekend in remark during opening ceremony of 2nd World Igbo Conference 2022, titled “Bridging the Igbo Homeland-Diaspora Disconnect for transforming our present and future together,”

Organised by Centre for Igbo Studies, University of Nigeria Nsukka (CIS-UNN) in collaboration with Council of Igbo States in America (CISA), Igbo World Assembly (IWA), Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, American Veterans of Igbo Descent (AVID), Respelling Oheah, and Unuchi Foundation,

Anakwenze who was the Chairnan of the conference urged Igbos both at home on diaspora to join hands in promoting and preserving Igbo language, traditions and cultural heritage of NdIgbo.

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“Is abnormal situation where Igbo parents will be raising their children with English and other foreign languages as against their mother tongue Igbo language.

“Countries in Europe and other parts of the world have their culture and languages which they preserves and guide jealously, the same should be about Igbo language, culture and traditions.

“It’s unfortunate that many Igbo parents are training their children with English language and other languages, this is very disheartening and should stop” he said.

He urged many Igbos who have passion for Igbo language, tradition and culture to continue to do their best to avoid the prediction of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) from becoming a reality that Igbo language might go into extinction in the next two decades.

“We are happy that UNN-CIS has designed and initiated an Igbo Cultural Village Complex Project, it is a laudable initiative which when completed will boost the teaching of Igbo language, culture, traditions as well as history of NdIgbo.

“It is a project all lovers of NdIgbo must identify, support and make donations so that it will be actualised in no distant time .

” I will mobilise the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, and other Igbo world and national bodies to ensure that the project becomes a reality ,” he said.

Also speaking virtually, Dr. Josephine Uzoamaka Aguoji, President, Council of Igbo States in America (CISA) commended UNN for setting up the Igbo Cultural Village Complex as well as applauded Prof. Chris Agbedo the Director of CIS and Onowu Abagana Chairman, Board of Presidents of the Council of Igbo States for their efforts in promoting and preserving Igbo language, culture and tradition.

She said that the theme of the conference was apt given that the disconnect between Igbos at homeland and in diaspora had hindered their ability to fully harness their potentials of Igbo communities and had prevented them from working together to create a better future for all Igbo people.

“This is the time for all us to come together to bridge the gap of disconnect and work toward a common goal of unity, progress and prosperity for all Igbo people both at home and abroad.

“We must recognise the strength of our community and unique contributions every one of us can make towards building a brighter future for the generation to come. by coming together and sharing our resources and experiences,” she said

In a remark, Prof Charles Igwe, the Vice-Chancellor of UNN urged all sons and daughters of NdIgbo to embrace the vision of reinventing Igbo studies and transforming Igboland in building ICVC in UNN

“I urge all great sons and daughters of Ndigbo to embrace and support the great vision of reinventing Igbo studies, promoting Igbo language and culture.

“It’s good initiative like this that we can ensure the preservation and celebration of our identity as NdIgbo.

” As we gather here today, I reaffirm the commitment of my administration to support the centre
I solicit for both moral and financial support of our great sons and daughters at home and in diaspora as well as our African and European friends for the realisation of Igbo Cultural Village Complex project.

“Please endeavor to be part of this historic event by donating generously for the establishment of this legacy projects, I am confidence that the conference will serve as a platform for fruitful discussions, exchange of ideas, and the collaboration towards building a brighter and more prosperous future for all Igbo people wherever they may reside,” he said.

Igwe who was represented by Prof. Romanus Ezeokonkwo, the Deputy Vice-chancellor Administration in UNN commended Anakwenze, other partners as well as the director of the centre for his good dream that gave birth to the Igbo Village.

“I extend my special appreciation to Dr. Anakwenze and Ndigbo Diaspora groups for their tireless dedication and commitment in actualising this noble objectives ” he said.

Speaking Prof Benjamin Ozumba former Vice-chancellor of UNN who during his administration CIS was established said he established the centre so as to promote Igbo language, tradition rich cultural heritage of NdIgbo.

“The igbo people have rich cultural heritage and this centre will go long way in showcasing them.

“Sometime ago UNESCO predicted that igbo language may go into extinction by the next two decades but with this Igbo Cultural Village Complex igbo language will receive a boost globally as well as remain forever.

“This centre is one of the research and cultural centres I established during my tenure as VC,”he said.

Ozumba commended Igbos both at home and in diaspora for their zeal and commitment to see the realisation of Igbo cultural village in UNN in no distant time.

“This village when completed will not only promote Igbo language, culture and tradition but will become a popular tourist centre for people all over the world to come and see the rich cultural heritage of Ndigbo.

“I commend the director of CIS Agbedo who is conceived the idea of the project and urged him to keep it up,” Ozumba said.

Earlier, Prof Chris Agbedo, the Director of CIS-UNN said that, the conference was a landmark and historic event as the Igbo Cultural Village Complex in UNN would be the first of its kind in South East that would promote Igbo language, culture and traditions of NdIgbo.

“I express my gratitude to Igbo people both at home and diaspora who have been supporting the centre, especially Anakwenze (Onuwu Abagana), Chairman, Board of Presidents of the Council of Igbo States in America.

“This centre when completed will boost Igbo language, culture, tradition, history as well as tourism.

“The centre is grateful to UNN management for approving land in the university for the construction of ICVC,

“It has been long I have been nursing dream to do something remarkable to promote Igbo language culture and traditions, I feel happy and fulfilled as ICVC is my initiative,”he said.

According to the director the Igbo Cultural Village Complex is a multi-million naira project as when complete it would house amphitheatre, guest house, the Igbo centre, the main igbo village, ICT. Library, adminstrative block among others.

He explained that the conference, was organised in collaboration with Council of Igbo States in Americas (CISA), Igbo World Assembly (IWA), American Veterans of Igbo Descent (AVID), Respelling Obeah and Unuchi Foundation .

Agbedo expessed appreciation to all who participated in the conference either physically or virtually and prayed God to reward them abundantly.

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