Teach children indigenous languages, union urges parents

Nkwesi Development Union (NDU), Abuja Branch, has urged parents to teach their children how to speak indigenous languages at home, saying this would help in reviving the tradition and heritage.

The Chairman of NDU, Mr Obinna Oduah, gave this advice on Saturday in Abuja, at the celebration of new Yam Festival with the theme: “Omerife 2022 New Yam Festival”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the festival is celebrated annually by the Oguta people of Imo State.

Oduah said many indigenous traditions were going into extinction due to lack of commitment from the people to promote them.


According to him, people no longer want to know their roots, if this continues cultural heritage from all parts of the country will die a natural death.

“A lot of our traditions are disappearing, people no longer wants to know their roots.

“I became the chairman of my town union last year February, the moment I took over I made it clear to them that we are going to effect some changes.

“One of the changes is to bring the village system and tradition into the children in the city since we no longer have the opportunity to take them home may be because of our finances and other things.

“We look at all our festival and Emerife is one of the festivals we knew we can comfortably transfer to teach our children and make them understand the important of culture to their lives and Igbo at large.

“These are part of the steps we have taken to do our beat and bring back our culture rather than allowing it go into extinction,” he said.

Oduah said that people were no longer practicing their culture because of religion, adding that these two concepts could run side by side without disturbing each other.

According to him, Omerife Yam Festival is to make the youths in the city identify with the culture and basically transmit it on them.

“By so doing they will be able to pass on the culture unto the generation unborn, since they themselves inherited the culture from their forefathers,” he said.

In his remarks, Mr Ikenna Uzoukwu, Chairman, planning committee of the festival, urged parents to begin to speak indigenous languages with their children in their various homes.

His Royal Majesty, Eze Amuzienwa Odigbo, who described the celebration of new yam festival in Oru, Nkwesi community in Igbo land, as ancient tradition, stated that it was a culture acceptable by God.

He stated that the festival in Oru Nkwesi community was a cultural festival not only celebrated by the Igbo, but with some communities in Delta, Rivers and Anambra states.

“We are not taking some of the God given natural product seriously, and that we are also not exploiting these products for the purpose they were meant to be used for.

“Some of these natural products are depicted in the Bible with various illustrations, the Bible commanded the Igbos to celebrate new yam festival but people are not knowledgeable about this.

“I have written many books on the Igbo cultural heritage, so many Igbo cultural stories will remain green in my memory, we will continue to talk to our people so that this cultural heritage will not wipe away.

Mr Vitus Ajaegbe, a retired Director in the internal audit department, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), advised parents to always take their children down to their home town to witness some of these cultural festivals.

Miss Nora Alexander, a 10-year-old primary five pupil, Christ Anglican Nursery and Primary School, Lugbe, stated that she has been able to learn the celebration of the new yam festival of the Igbo culture.

She called on other teenagers to follow suit by learning and obeying all the culture associated with their tribes, adding that learning their culture would broaden their knowledge. (NAN)


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