Prof. Fidelis Okafor, the Vice Chancellor of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU) in Nigeria has called for the establishment of film villages in the South East of the country for the preservation of Igbo cultural values.
Okafor who made the call at a recent cultural carnival organised by the university said that the film villages would create avenue to entertain people on folklores and tales as well as present Igbo values to the world.
“If the South East governments support the film villages, the promotion of the Igbo culture, language and values, which are on steep decline, will be preserved,” Okafor said.
According to him, the institution decided that Igbo language will be used for official communication every Wednesday of the week.
“We want the Igbo language to be one of the celebrated languages in Africa,” Okafor said.
In his remarks, former Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Pita Ejiofor, urged students of the institution to blend their academic pursuits with the good morals of Igbo culture, adding that the UNESCO Advisory Committee on Language Pluralism and Multi-language Education had predicted that Igbo language and culture may become extinct.
The don said the language and cultural values may become subsumed under other stronger Nigerian languages by 2025 if nothing was done. “Therefore, all hands must be on deck to save the Igbo language from going into extinction,” Ejiofor said.
Ejiofor is also the founder of “Otu Suwakwa Igbo,” a body founded to preserve the Igbo language and cultural values.