Archive for the ‘IBOS’ Category


September 14, 2018


February 15, 2010



Daily Independent (Lagos)

Nigeria: Enforcing Indigenous Languages in Homes
Yemi Adebisi
14 February 2010

Lagos — The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation appears to be set to encourage the use of indigenous languages in Nigerian homes.

The institute also frowns at the mode of dressing of most Nigerian children, which it described as ‘near nudity,’ blaming this on the nonchalant attitude of Nigerian parents and the lack of respect for Nigerian culture. It has therefore assured that it would use its medium to address the total emancipation of Nigerian cultural details and encourage its proliferation. This would, according to the institute, help to market the value of Nigerian culture, home and abroad, when the essence and awareness of the culture is encouraged.

Apparently, the recent visit of the executive secretary/chief executive officer of NICO, Dr. Barclays F. Ayakoroma to Lagos office was primarily designed by the institute to gear up arrangement to start off the new academic session of its cultural institute. It was during the visit that Ayakoroma, in his chat with the media, unveiled plans to take Nigeria culture to all the nooks and crannies of the country and to ensure that it yields positive results than ever. NICO was established by Decree 93 of 1993.

The Institute has the primary responsibility of harnessing Nigeria’s cultural resources to meet the challenges of social integration, peace, unity and national development. It also serves as vital force for promoting Nigeria’s programme of Cultural Diplomacy and energising the various cultural establishments in the new direction advocated by Nigeria’s Cultural Policy and the World Decade for Cultural Development (1988-1997) declared by the United Nations.

NICO has a vision to be the apex and leading Cultural Training Institute in Nigeria and Nigeria’s contribution to world progress and civilisation through research and documentation, cultural assets and services, both tangible and intangible.

NICO is also committed to train cultural development officers, motivators and communicators who would be grounded in Nigerian cultural realities, philosophy and practices that are essential for national integration, peace, unity and development in a multi-ethnic nation.

It would be recalled that the institute has presented for graduation, the first set of students in the Certificate, Graduate and Diploma in Cultural Studies. By November 2009, registration processes started for the second set. Ayakoroma visited Lagos to ensure the successful take off of the new academic session. According to him, he was satisfied with the current academic programme and expressed hope that sooner, the training school will be in its rightful place in the culture sector. The vision of NICO is to run a school that will produce graduands that will occupy strategic position in various cultural institutions.

“Just like the Federal Training School trains clerical officers all over the country, ASCON trains administrative officers, and NIPS trains top government officers in the civil service and the military, we are positioning ourselves to train cultural workers at the middle and top level of cultural administration,” he said.

The secretary observed that NICO would only gain its relevance in the scheme of things when it comes out with some programmes that will impact the lives of the generality of the people. At the national level, according to him, there are programmes lined up, but specifically, the indigenous language programme appears to be a strategic option. With the notion that many Nigerians are not intact, language wise and that most of Nigerian children find it difficult speaking indigenous language, because of inter-tribal marriages and so on, NICO has developed a programme that will encourage the speaking of the indigenous languages.

“If these children are given the opportunity to learn indigenous languages, they approach them with every sense of commitment. This programme has gained ground to some extent. In the last long vacation of Nigerian primary and secondary schools, the programme took place in the six zonal offices of NICO.”

The institute has set up an agenda to introduce a programme entitled ‘Language in the Barracks’ to support its vision to immortalize indigenous languages. This is with the intention of taking indigenous language training scheme to police and military barracks. It was discovered, however, that among some military or police families, the wives might be Yoruba while the husbands, Igbo. It boils down on the challenge of the particular language that the children will be disposed to speak. NICO therefore believes that with this programme, parents as well as children will have the opportunity to learn those languages. The institute has also concluded plans, according to the executive secretary, to start a television programme called ‘WAZOBIA Quiz’. They are looking at a scenario whereby the parents and their children come for a quiz programme based on culture such as ‘Nigerian People and Places’. Such segment will be in the three Nigeria major languages.

“If the father is speaking Yoruba and Hausa for example, and the wife is Igbo, we expect that one of the children that will appear with you for the programme will also speak one of the languages. We believe it will be an interesting programme and it will enhance or energise the study or interest of Nigerian languages,” he said. This, to an extent, might help improve the readiness of Nigerian families to cherish the more the indigenous languages. NICO declared its intention to encourage the speaking of indigenous languages at homes and offices in Nigeria and not having English as lingua franca in respected homes. Other roundtable programme of the institute include annual roundtable conference, workshop on ‘Repositioning Cultural Workers for Improved Productivity’, World Culture Day celebration in May among others. The secretary also intimidated the media about the plan of the institute to start cultural club in secondary schools. This will be taking to secondary schools to catch the young ones culturally, like the debating and literary societies. The intention of the institute is for the children to appreciate every area of Nigerian culture, be it music or dressing.

He expressed his disappointment on how Nigerian parents are showing lackadaisical attitude to the dressing mode of most Nigerian children. According to him, some of these children go on the street almost in nudity. “It is very worrisome. The jeans, T-shirts, and the type of short sketches that our children wear in the name of fashion are really worrisome. That is why we are also looking at organising a programme called ‘Nigeria’s Dress Culture’. We want to look at aspect of dress culture.”

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Some Nigerian universities have been observed to institutionalised dress codes. Ayakoroma therefore appealed that such institutions should be encouraged, because if the students are allowed to dress the way they want, “very soon we will begin to see nude boys and girls on our streets in the name of fashion.”

NICO has vowed to step up actions on the creation of awareness on the essence and importance of culture in Nigeria. Culture, according to him, is what makes a man. He therefore warned that with the level of richness of Nigerian culture, it would be very unfortunate if Nigerian parents failed to carry their children along and sell them to the western world in the name of civilisation.

He also significantly pointed out that for Nigeria to move forward, there is a need for Nigerians to cooperate with the institute to appraise the level of corruption in Nigeria from cultural point of view.


August 17, 2009


• Why I don’t support one man, one wife and how I manage my five wives
By Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
Wednesday, November 28, 2007



•Igwe Kelly
Photo: Sun News Publishing

His Royal Majesty, Igwe Dr. Nkeli Nzekwe Kelly, the Okalakwu Igboariam of Okalakwu kingdom, is a traditional ruler with a difference. This is shown in his attire, carriage and the way he rules his people with love and care.

But Igwe Kelly, who has been on the throne for 16 years, has great passion for women. In fact, he told Daily Sun that his target is to marry seven wives. Presently, he has five wives who have given him 13 children.

The traditional ruler has been a lucky man as it is not difficult for him to get his women. According to him, all he needs to do to get a new wife is to just declare his interest and the woman automatically becomes his wife.
In this encounter with Daily Sun, he spoke about his kingdom, his scholarship, the agricultural heritage of his kingdom and other services to his people.

What stands me out
The only thing I know is that nobody is an angel. But I’m trying as much as I can to do what I learnt from abroad where I lived. And that is, to be straightforward in whatever I do and to tell my people the truth. That’s one thing that perhaps makes me special. I don’t know that I am special. But I believe my people love me because I love them, too. I make sure whoever I am dealing with will understand me, where I am coming from and where I am going. You will see my front and back. That’s what makes me special, nothing more than that.

I have all the traditional attire from the various kingdoms, I have them in my kingdom. I have other attires because this kingdom emanated from Benin. Initially, there was only one kingdom in Nigeria. That was the Benin Kingdom. If you watch me sometimes during my Ofala, you see the Ibiwe. Ibiwe means the bead-makers in Benin language. We have bead makers here, they make my wears. Because during the time that King Oba na Edo ruled up to this area, we called him Oba Nidu. I have the history in my kingdom. What my ancestors left behind, I’ve gone through them. The one written in Igbo and in English. I have gone through them and I discovered that there was a time those people extended up to here. There was a king that came into this place and wore the same attire.

So, what happened is, if you want to know my real attire, come on my Ofala day. Other attires, I can change to Emir attire, provided it is a Nigerian attire, but you may not know. Sometimes, I wear attire from the northerners, the Yorubas, the Tivs, the Ibibios, the Anambras, the Imos and so on. So, that’s what makes my dressing different. But if you look into it deeply, you will still see some Igbo cultural wears or traditional wears in those attire.

Life is what you make out of yourself; you cannot depend on your father’s wear because fashion changes all the time. If you are wearing this dress now, if I bought this dress last year for about, let’s say, N50, you may not find that type or style again this year. And if you buy it, they will take you as one who is not current with trends. So, I have brought everything to this level.

Wives and how I choose them
Actually, I have five wives and I am ready to marry more. It depends, because my target is seven. But I don’t know: Life and finance will determine. That is, my pocket will determine how many wives I will be able to accommodate in my kingdom. It is the tradition. You see, one man, one wife, I do not believe in it because there are a lot of women in the society now. Even sometimes, women claim that they own your house with you, the husband.
It is not done; it is only done in England where the man contributes money to the dowry with his wife, contributes money for the dowry, for feeding and every other thing from morning to night. But when you go to a woman’s house, organise a big party, sew uniforms for your wife’s friends, your in-laws, extended families, then tomorrow, will somebody say she owns your house with you? She did not contribute in building the house. How does she own the house? So, that’s why I have my wives with me and they are living happily with me and they are okay.
I choose my wives as a king. When I see somebody I like and I say I will marry you, she will follow me, that is the end of it. Then we do the next things. I will tell my people this is my wife. I don’t go to oracle, I don’t go anywhere. When any girl attracts me or any time I see a woman that attracts me, I will say it: I want to marry you. And from then on, my men will walk in there and I will leave that place and they will dig it out, get the business done for me and bring the lady home.

Managing five wives
The more wives you get, the better for you in your house. If you have only one wife, you will have more than 10 problems. If you have 10 wives, you have only one trouble in the house because instead of fighting you, they will fight themselves. All of them will be fighting to get you, to get your love and attention and you will stay quiet in your house and live long.
But if you marry only one, even if you go out, she will say why did you go and drink? But when they are many, you can go and drink, you can even sleep outside for one month and come back. Provided you know you are not cheating in any way. It depends on the individual, because I don’t like cheating someone. If you are straightforward, then you can marry more. They will not be able to stop you. The more you go in marriage, but watch always your pocket, as I said. You must be financially okay before you go into such marriages, because it involves a lot of money, a lot of spending. What you spend for one wife, times 10 or more, including on extended families. You must make sure you are sound before you go in for the second or third wife.

Our traditional stool
It means I am the servant of my people. I am working for my people and I am happy discharging my duties. I am happy working for them; it is not easy because they say uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. So, it is not easy for me. You must have a lot of challenges. But remember, challenges make you wise. When you have challenges from people, you get wiser, you get stronger, more powerful. But if you have no challenges, you become powerless; you behave like one of your subjects. I like challenges; I like people challenging me from left, right, everywhere. So, if I can defend and bring them down, then I am a good leader. If I cannot defend them and they bring me down, I am not a good leader.

Most memorable time on the throne
I enjoyed my 16 years on the throne from day one to today. I enjoyed every bit, every day of it, but Ofala days are always special times. My community is very good. They are very nice people, they are educated, they are quiet, they are not troublesome and they have understanding. I am happy throughout the 16 years I have been the king of this kingdom.

Changes in the kingdom
Very, very many changes. They have scholarships, they have light, they have everything. There have been a lot of changes since I became the king. Formerly, they were paying school fees. Today, they don’t pay anything, for over 10 years now. Even foreigners who are here do not pay, provided you pay your community dues or any communal contribution. You have to make it otherwise, your children will not be allowed in the schools. You must contribute; you must work with the community to grow the economy. We like people who work like my people. If you come here in the afternoon, you can’t see anybody here. They are all in the bush, rivers, looking for what to eat.
We have achieved a lot. Scholarships, agriculture, we grow food and grow more and more. We have loans from the government and from myself that make them do more work on their farms. If you go to where we farm now, you will see that we have extended the farms. We are even trying to pay for lands, lease lands from other communities in order to cultivate and do our farming business. The land is even not enough for us to farm.

Future vision for the kingdom
My future vision for my kingdom is to make them happy, make them grow economically and make their future bright. Through this scholarship scheme, I know we will get more educated people and from there, they will now spread to all the other parts of the world. What I want is to make them a big community, big town with rich and educated people. That’s my aim and target.

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