Onitsha - The Igede Development Association of Nigeria on Saturday urged parents and government at all levels to promote the learning, writing and speaking of indigenous languages of the country.
The President of the association, Anambra Chapter, Patrick Akobo, made the call in Onitsha during the installation of Ad’Igede III, Chief Matthew Omenka.
Omenka is also the traditional ruler of Igede people in Anambra.
Akobo said that a child that cannot speak his mother tongue, not to talk of writing in the indigenous dialect was a "social misfit".
"It is deplorable that many educated families in Nigeria do not allow their children to speak their native dialects.
"Instead, such families confuse their children with broken English, which is socially unacceptable type of English.
"And with this development, these children loss not only the language; they also loss other important parts of their cultural heritage," he said.
Akobo said that the association had established an Igede Language Study Centre in Onitsha to further promote the language and cultural heritage of Igede people.
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According to him, with the centre, we would imbibe in our children virtues that would encourage our great cultural heritage and positive mindset for true development.
Also speaking, the new Ad’Igede III in Anambra, Omenka, thanked the entire Igede people for the trust they repose on him as well as the crowd that attended his installation.
"I will work to maintain those positive traits which Igede people worldwide is known for.
"These include being humane, loving and being careful in whatever they want to say or do," Omenka said.
The traditional ruler also commended Governor Gabriel Suswam of for creating a first class chiefdom for Igede people in Benue State.
Igede people constitute the third largest tribe in Benue State; while it has a sizeable population living in Anambra, especially in Onitsha and its environs.