Ida Obolo

Joy Obolo

Joy Obolo NATION:

The international Mother Tongue Day

for obolo. 23/02/2016.

Language seems to be the only outstanding and unique cultural heritage of a tribe or nation. It makes the people completely different from all others, despite the colour. People from different languages may share certain traits, norms and values, but the boundary is their individual language difference. This is just a food for thought.

Indeed, Obolo people have a language called Obolo. Obolo language is unique and very dear to the heart of Obolo people.

February, 21st of every year is set aside worldwide by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], as the international mother tongue day. It is a day to remember, appreciate and to celebrate the indigenous language of a people; be it the language of the majority or the minority. The year 2016 turned the pendulum to Obolo, as the National Museum and Monuments, Rivers State, deemed it fit to select Obolo as the Mother Tongue language of the year 2016 for Rivers State.

Tuesday 23rd February was thus slated for exhibition and celebration of Obolo as the Mother Tongue language of the year 2016 in Rivers State. The celebration featured among others the following: exhibition of the relics of Obolo cultural heritage and books published in Obolo language, interschool competitions in Obolo language, traditional dance, presentation of award and paper presentation.

The venue for this grand occasion was at the:

National Museum,

No. 2 Harley Street,

Old GRA, Port Harcourt,

Rivers State.

The event kick-off at about 11.00 a.m.

Dignified sons and daughters of Obolo from various walks of life were in attendance. They graced the occasion with powerful speeches. Lovers of Obolo Nation also queue in. It was the celebration of Obolo nation and her language.

The event was chaired by HRH NLA Iraron, Ede-Obolo 11, Òkaan̄ ama of Egwede. And the following also attended: The Special Guests of Honor: His Excellency, Chief (Barr.) Nyesom EzenwoWike CON, Executive Governor of Rivers State, who was ably represented by Barr Rufus Godwin, Head of Service Government of Rivers State, who was also the Guest of Honor; HRH King (Dr.) I. U. Otuo IX (JP), Òkaan̄ Ama of Unyeada Kingdom;

HRH King (Sir) Aaron Ikuru, Òkaan̄ Ama of Ikuru Town and other Obolo Chiefs from Akwa Ibom and Abia States. Other Royal Highnesses and Traditional Rulers were present.

The Chief Host: Mr. Omolayo Ralph Fadamijo, Curator, National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Port Harcourt. Sir Cyrus T. Nkangwung, Chairman, Ida Obolo.

Prof. John H. Enemugwem, Dean, Dept. of Humanities, University of Port Harcourt was also there.

Masters of Ceremony: Dr. Ayuwu Jones, University of Port Harcourt and Mr. Isaac Esuku, Etc.

Some of these dignitaries spoke vehemently on the social status of Obolo, and significantly on the historic place of Obolo in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. They expressed their profound gratitude to God Almighty for the position of Obolo in Nigeria when it comes to language status and development. Seen the number of literacy and religious materials developed in Obolo language, they could not hesitate to rate Obolo above her contemporaries. By their various speeches they blotted the copybook of obolo Nation publicly.

Dr Uche Aaron, the senior International Translation Consultant in charge of the Obolo language presented a paper on, “QUALITY EDUCATION, LANGUAGE(S) OF INSTRUCTION, AND LEARNING OUTCOMES”.

His wife, Dr Mrs Marianne J. Aaron also received an award…..

At the end of his presentation, Dr Aaron appealed to all sons and daughters of Obolo to come together as a team to champion the course of Obolo, to appreciate, to embrace, honour Obolo and to uphold her unique God-given cultural heritage-Obolo Language; thereby leaving behind us a legacy for the oncoming generation. He crowned his presentation with the popular song,

“Obolo ìna, ìna ìna.

Eji kpeweek ibe eji erọ esesek;

ìna eji egba inu erọ!”

Six invited Schools, from Ataba, Asarama, Ikuru Town, Unyeada, Ngo and Agwut Obolo of the secondary school category unanimously presented a cultural dance to demonstrate the official dressing and occupation of Obolo People. They preached Obolo national peace and unit in their rendition. They also took part in the competition, with Agwut Obolo, Ngo and Unyeada schools emerging winners in the contest with 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions respectively. Pupils from our maiden bilingual school called 'Obolo Bilingual Centre', also presented the National Anthem in Obolo language . The first in the history of Nigeria to sing the national Anthem in the mother tongue. Probably, Obolo is the first to translation the national Anthem in the Mother tongue. Setting the pace for others.

Obolo women were not left out, as they stormed the arena in uniforms with block dance in two different groups. In fact, the event was excellent, jubilant ecstatic.

Obolo, Congratulations!

Obolo! Obolo! Obolo ìtiki!

Newspaper Report from Tide on the Obolo Day Celebration.

[See reports from Tide on Wednesday 4 March, 2016]

HOS Lauds Andoni People On Indigenous Language

http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/776f0d8c64df00a2daec868af7f9ee42?s=26&d=mm&r=g Posted by admin on Mar 4th, 2016 and filed under Rivers . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 . Both comments and pings are currently closed.

The Head of Service,
Rivers State Mr Rufus Godwin, has commended Andoni Local Government Area for bringing honour to the state through the use of their indigenous language.
The Head of Service said this during the 2016 International Mother Tongue Day celebration held recently at the National Museum, Port Harcourt.
Godwin said out of 535 languages in Nigeria, the Obolo Language had been recognised as the 23rd of its kind in the country.
“The International Mother Tongue Day was proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nation’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in November 1999.
“This is important because the mother tongue, is not just one in which the first words are uttered and individual thought expressed, it is also the foundation for the history and culture of each individual”, he said.
He urged the state government to ensure that the indigenous languages were preferred and assured the Obolo people that the state government would continue to support them.
He also solicited the support of the people for Governor Wike-led administration in providing good governance.
In his speech, the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Obolo Language and Bible Translation Organisation, Dr Okere .N. Iragunima said that the old and new testaments of English Bible had been translated into Obolo language.
According to him Andoni is the first in Rivers State to establish Bilingual schools where Obolo is used as a medium of instruction, adding that Obolo language dictionary would soon be lunched.
Speaking, the curate, National Museum, Port Harcourt, Mr Fadamjo Omolayo said concerted efforts should be made to build on these laudable achievements made by the Obolo nation.
Omolayo noted that the language of a people defines and gives them a unique ‘identity”, adding that when we lose our mother tongue, we lose an important element of our cultural heritage.”
He said that the essence of the celebration, was part of global effort to preserve indigenous languages.

See what an Ibani lady wrote about the Event!