The Eze ndi Igbo in Ghana, Chief Chukwudi Jude Ihenetu, has once again implored the Federal Government of Nigeria, Ghanaian Government, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other stakeholders to devise a permanent solution to the closure of shops owned by Nigerians in the old Gold Coast.
Speaking during the launch of an Igbo language school in Ghana recently, this Eze ndi Igbo, while admitting that immigrants could not expect to re-write the laws of their host community observed that; though a lot has been done to redress the situation, the problem persists as borne out by the wave of closure of Nigerian-owned shops in some areas of the Ghanaian capital, over the last six weeks or so.
Returning to the issue of Igbo language lessons, which took-off at his palace in East Legon on Saturday, February 16, 2013; Chief Ihenetu revealed the school will operate from Datus Complex Schools, located in the Exhibition neighbourhood of Dansuman, Accra.
The premiere class, featured roughly 50 pupils; whose ages ranged from a few months, like Baby Emmanuela; through six, Prince Jude Ihenetu Jnr, for example; to 10-year-olds.
The pioneer class was taught by three female teachers, Lolo Chinwe Cosmas, Mrs. Okoro Chibuzo and Rev. (Dr) Lovelyn Anuruo; while the first lessons included introduction to the vowels and consonants of Igbo language as well as counting from one to 20 for the children.
The Eze pointed out that, the launch of the institution was fulfillment of one of his key promises to do everything within his power to preserve and propagate Igbo culture and to ensure that, even though most of the children were born outside Igbo land, through comprehension of Igbo, they would not be cut off from their parents’ roots. This Eze ndi Igbo further revealed that, in due course, the language programme will have learning centres in each of Ghana’s 10 regions.
For the moment, however, the first Igbo language school in Ghana will operate from Dansuman.
In a chat with Travels after the flag-off lessons at the Eze’s Palace; Mr. Francis Dowetin, Executive Director of Datus Complex Schools, Dansuman, where the premiere Igbo language school in Ghana will be operating from; declared: “As far as I’m concerned, we have given space to Eze ndi Igbo Ghana to start his programme, there”.
Aside the language lesson proper, the day’s programme also included breaking of kola-nut, cutting of tape and address by the Eze, HH Chukwudi Ihenetu. Mr. Ifeanyi Anyakwo is Secretary, Palace of Eze ndi Igbo in Ghana; and, he was at the event with his wife, Mrs. Obiamaka as well as their son, Master Ifeanyi Anyakwo, who happened to be among the dozens of children brought to the pioneer class. Given the plenitude of food and drinks during the exercise, the pupils wouldn’t mind coming to class everyday, in fact.
Through his Igbo language propagation and preservation initiative, Chief Ihenetu has proven, once again, why he is hailed as the rallying point for countless Igbo people living in Ghana.
The launch of the Igbo language classes was witnessed by, among others, a representative of the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana. Also in attendance at the groundbreaking event were; Chris Nnamani, Chief Ifeanyi Anyankwo, Palace Secretary; Hon. Okey Okoro, a former Councillor Owerri West, Imo State; Maxwell Chigozie, Chief Aligbo, Prince Uche, Chief Douglas Chukwuemeka Onodugo, Mr. Kyrian Emenalo Chijuindu, Mr. Kelechukwu Ike aka KK, Mr. Harrison Mba Kalu, Mr. Akunne, PA to the Eze; Chima Nkpa Agubosim with Miss Vanessa Ike and her younger brother, Ikechukwu; Chief Chibata, Chief Okanume and Don C.