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Once upon a time, a renowned Igbo Professor of Agricultural Development, Professor Martin Ijere, a sound scholar from Ehime Mbano was once reported to have told his audience is a seminar Lecture, “It is the you in you, that makes the you, you are.”

Once upon a time, a renowned Igbo Professor of Agricultural Development, Professor Martin Ijere, a sound scholar from Ehime Mbano was once reported to have told his audience is a seminar Lecture, “It is the you in you, that makes the you, you are.”

This statement made out of in-depth knowledge f the human behaviours, made several years ago still remains valid till this day. Because according to one English writer, Grace Holmes, “words of wisdom would always serve several generations and still remain both valid and relevant as part of our developmental processes.”
When the late erudite scholar made that statement, he never knew that until today it will be a remarkable statement in Igbo phraseology and thought.
Without doubt, many of our people, “the Igbo Ethnic Nationality” are heavily concerned of the threat that the Igbo Language would be extinct at the next century. This revealing warning by an important United Nations Agency, UNESCO has since rattled many Igbo scholars, leaders and traditional Institutions. It is for this reason that several bodies, governments and organizations above all, individuals have taken up several measures to ensure that such prediction does not come to materialize.
Although these several efforts are making some impacts, they are in all honesty not sufficient to prevent the coming into effect such negative prediction.
Without doubt, there are three main ethnic nationalities in this country. These are Igbo, Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba ethnic nationalities.
Without doubt, only the Igbo and Yoruba languages are the two languages that are constantly facing the threat of extinction in future because of the severe neglect by the Igbo and Yoruba ethnic individuals. When we come to make comparison, the Yorubas are one step ahead of us particularly in the promotion and sustenance of Yoruba culture which includes their language. For example, few weeks ago, the State Assembly of Lagos State passed a bill prohibiting anybody who has to enter any tertiary institutions operated by the State Government from gaining admission unless the applicant possesses credit in Yoruba language at the West African Certificate, NECO or GCE. This is the most effective means of compelling every student in the post primary and every pupil in primary school to study Yoruba language. Can we do that?
Indeed, the government of Anambra State under Peter Obi, effected several measures to promote Igbo language and culture. One of those measures was that one day in a week was designated for the wearing of traditional dresses, particularly among the public and civil servants in the state. In addition, so many other measures were taken to advance the cause of Igbo language and culture in Anambra State.
Today, the current government under Willie Obiano has continued those progressive policies of Peter Obi.
Similarly, here in Imo State, under the rescue mission of Owelle Administration, the governor has taken seriously issues concerning promotion and sustenance of Igbo language and culture. For example, traditional rulers who are the head of our tradition and custom have been encouraged to conduct their meetings at every level in Igbo language. Although the level of compliance has not been measured, the governor has not taken it lightly of any matter concerning the promotion and sustenance of Igbo language.
We can go one step ahead of the Yoruba by encouraging the governments of Abia State and Ebonyi State to queue in line by encouraging the use of Igbo language and the promotion of Igbo language and culture in their States.
Without that the Igbo ethnic nationality is a dialectical variation, every Igbo person whether he/she is from Ete across Benue Rivers in Anambra State, or from Ika-Igbo in the Delta region or fro Etche or Ikwere in Rivers State will understand what a person from any of these areas is saying with a little difficulty.
The Igbo nation is blessed with deep cultural varieties which if advanced could promote Igbo nation as indeed a unique race. This is why many scholars have continued to see a lot of similarities between the Jews and the Igbos. Few examples may help; the Jews and the Igbos marry according to lineage meaning a lineage of purity. The Igbos and the Jews traditionally circumcise the newly born babies (excluding female babies) on the eighth day. The Igbos and the Jews have great respect for the dead and so go to any length to honour the dead. That is why the Igbos even if they are in Adelaide inAustralia, whether there are few Igbos, will go to any length to bring the body of one of them back for burial no matter the lost.  They cherish the union of two persons in marriage and the arrival of new born babies. Both the nationalities celebrate naming ceremony. There are indeed so many similarities.

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