By Binebai Princewill
A traditionalist, Mr. Samuel Idukedoumene Ekpemupolo has expressed fear that the Ijaw language, its culture and other vital organs of the tradition will become extinct if nothing is done practically to promote and preserve the Ijaw language and its cultural heritage now.
The budding traditionalist made the assertion yesterday during a courtesy visit to the Chief Executive Officer of The Liberator Newspaper in Warri, Delta State.
Ekpemupolo challenged all leaders of Ijaw extraction to do something positive in the promotion and preservation of the Ijaw language and culture now, forecasting that it will go extinct if nothing is done about it.
He said Ijaws anywhere in the World should be proud of their language, culture and tradition like others are doing around the World.
Using the Yorubas, Igbos and Hausas as reference points, Idukedoumene noted that they are the most exposed, enlightened and most educated but are very serious in the preservation of their language, culture and traditions, a situation he said is not common with the Ijaw case.
He said almost all Ijaw people are now known and answering foreign names, a matter he said potends doom and great calamity to the continued survival of the Ijaw language.
According to him, religion has been identified as one of the bane behind such predicament the Ijaws finds themselves, advocating that one sure way of rescuing the Ijaw language is to do away with foreign names but to focuss on calling children exclusively Ijaw names.
He also encourages all Ijaw kingdoms to begin to organise festivals to promote, protect and preserve the rich Ijaw cultural heritage by preventing it from going into oblivion.
In his words: “We all have a duty to protect, preserve and promote the Ijaw language, culture and our tradition in its entirety, we must not fail our generation by not doing the needful to protect the very essence of our existence “. Idukedoumene stated .
Mr. Samuel had wondered that if the founding fathers of Ijaw from generation to generation have been able to protect and preserve the Ijaw cultural heritage, how then will the present generation not do anything about it than seeing the Ijaw culture dying slowly.
He maintained that whether Ijaws like it or not, whatever it is that they are doing is other people’s cultural “the English is a language of foreign people, christianity is also foreign, we now carry these things as if it’s our language and tradition, forgetting our own culture in the process, this is really worisome ” He said
Speaking further, he bemoan the fact that Ijaws have become willing tools for the promotion of other cultures, languages and tradition by forgetting themselves in the process.
“Who is now promoting our language and culture if we don’t do it ? People from nowhere came into our land and made us believe that our culture and everything about us is evil hence we believed them and begin to move and live with such foolish notion, what a pity !”. Idukedoumene frowns.