The 17th Annual Conference of the Association for Promoting Nigerian Languages and Culture (APNILAC) opened, Monday, 14th July, at the Main Auditorium of Imo State University, Owerri, with the National Coordinator, Professor Jerome Okonkwo, charging stakeholders to help ensure the sustenance, preservation and promotion of our languages and cultures.
Okonkwo expressed appreciation to those who have continued to contribute towards preserving our indigenous languages, and commended the Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, for his continued efforts at helping in preserving Nigerian languages and cultures.
He also thanked the Vice-Chancellor of Imo State University, Professor Ukachukwu Awuzie, for his support towards the hosting of the conference, further expressing gratitude to a distinguished author, renowned scholar and language expert, Dr. Zehlia Babaci-Wilhite from the University of California, for travelling all the way from the United States of America (USA) to participate in the conference.
In consonance with the objective of promoting Nigerian indigenous languages and culture, the prayer at the opening ceremony of the conference was rendered in Hausa language, while the breaking of kola nut was done in Igbo.
The opening ceremony, which witnessed the public presentation and launch of JONLAC: The Journal of Nigerian Languages and Culture, featured two lead papers: “New Perspectives on Language and Literacy in Africa and Asia,” by Dr. Zehlia Babachi-Wilhite and “Culture, Language, and Literacy: The Search for National and Cultural Rebirth,” by Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, the Executive Secretary of NICO, which was presented on his behalf by Mr. Alex Omijie, the Director, Orientation & Cultural Affairs, NICO.
Other dignitaries present at the occasion included, Professor C. Ubochi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Imo State University, who represented the Vice-Chancellor, the Special Assistant (Media) to the Honourable Minister of Education, Dr. Nnamdi Olebara, Zonal Coordinators of the Association: Professor Solomon Makinde (Western), Professor Yusuf Mantama (Northern), and Dr. Ifeoma Obuasi (National Secretary).
Mr. Alex Omijie
Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs
NICO HQ, Abuja