The South-South Zonal Office of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), today, closed its 4th Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) amidst fanfare, as friends and well-wishers of the participants of the one-month programme, thronged the Imgbi Road Office Complex, venue of the closing ceremony to felicitate with their love ones.
Participants of the programme, to the delight and admiration of friends and well-wishers, displayed their understanding of the various languages they learnt, through presentation of news, songs and drama in the various indigenous languages that were taught in the programme.
In his opening address, the Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, who was represented by the Director/Head of NICO Liaison Office, Lagos, Mrs. Bridget Yerima, while applauding participants for taking the bold step to partake in the programme, stated that despite the fact that language is a core instrument of expression and understanding of each other’s value system, which enhances national co-existence, majority of our citizens do not take pride in speaking of our indigenous languages, which places our local languages at the verge of extinction.
Dr. Ayakoroma added that it was the bid to salvage the fast eroding trend of the speaking of our indigenous languages that informed the Institute to initiate the language programme to encourage people to speak our indigenous languages.
According to the ES, the large turnout of participants in this year’s edition clearly demonstrates that the indigenous language programme is making the needed impact and called on the public to keep a date with the Institute, come August next year.
The Permanent Secretary, Bayelsa State Ministry of Education, Mr. Fraizer Okuoru, who was the Chairman of the occasion, thanked NICO for spearheading the study of the nation’s indigenous languages, informing that the present Seriake Dickson-led administration is highly interested in promoting the culture and language of the Ijaw nation and that government was coming up with a policy direction to institutionalize the teaching of Ijaw and other indigenous languages in the state’s school system.
The Permanent Secretary, who was represented by Mr. Edward Ayunku, urged the leadership of NICO in the state to always notify the Ministry of its programmes as the Ministry is willing to render the necessary support.
Commenting on behalf of the resource persons, on the importance of the programme, Mr. E.C. Enewari, the resource person for Izon language, stated that, NICO’s indigenous language programme is a well thought out programme that needs the support of the state government and other public-spirited individuals to make the programme more impactful.
Enewari, who is the Head of Ijaw Language Studies at Bayelsa State Isaac Boro College of Education, Sagbama, lauded NICO for pioneering the study of indigenous language in the state, and called on all and sundry to patronize subsequent editions.
Among other persons, who participated in the programme was an Associate Professor, Dr. Ani Offiong, who represented the Honourable Commissioner of Education, Cross River State, at the opening ceremony and also registered for the programme.
The closing ceremony also enjoyed the royal blessings of the Amananaowei of Angiama, His Highness Kings Adueze, the representative of the JTF Commander, Col. Odoba, representative of Bayelsa State FRSC State Commander, Asst. Corp Commandant, C.E Edem, and Barr. Ebi Austin, 3rd National Vice-President, National Council of Women’s Society.
© NICO South-South Zone