Okowa calls for preservation of African languages •As Bible in Ika language is presented to the people
DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has called for the preservation of African languages.
The governor made the call at the public presentation and dedication of the Holy Bible written in Ika language. The event took place at the Cathedral Church of Ascension, Boji Boji Owa, Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State.
According to Governor Okowa, “it has become very common to see parents communicating with their children in pidgin English rather than their mother tongue.”
“With the Ika Bible, we are making progress in the preservation of our language and the spreading of the word of God in Ika language, “ he said.
While congratulating those who made it possible for the Bible to be translated in Ika language, Governor Okowa asserted, “it is important that we teach our children how to speak, read and write in Ika language.”
The Primate of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh,in a sermon at the event, thanked God for the several ways He is assisting Nigeria and congratulated Governor Okowa on his re-election.
He observed that the implication of having the Holy Bible in Ika language was that it would make the Ika people to know God more, make the Ika people to come back to God through His son, Jesus Christ, among others.
The Bible is the manual which God gave to man on how to worship him, adding, “God speaks and acts and the proper reaction of human being to the words or actions of God is to worship Him.”
“When God speaks to you or He appears in your life, the reaction is to worship Him, rejoice for what he has done for you with your heart, dance like David did,” the Primate said, adding that with the translation of the Bible in Ika language, God had spoken to the people of Ika nation.
He asserted, “the most important aspect of having the Holy Bible in Ika language is evangelism; it is very very important that wherever you find yourself, no matter your profession, preach the word of God, win souls for Christ.”
Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Ika Bible Project, Bishop Augustine Iweriebor, in an address, said, “we are here to set a landmark which generations yet unborn in Ika nation will make reference to, stand upon as a bedrock for further spiritual enhancement and make claim to as a means of both local, national and international identification; the Ika Bible dedication is epoch making event which has both physical and spiritual dimensions; since the language of the people of any ethnicity is a major pivot which the culture and the custom of the people rest upon, the Ika Bible will help in this regard, as well as preserve the language for posterity.
While disclosing that the Ika Bible translation started in 1999, Bishop Iweriebor thanked those who contributed to the successful translation of the project.