By Archibong Jeremiah
A Non-Governmental Organization and socio-political group of Ikom sons and daughters, the Refighane Bor-Ekpache Nkome, Calabar Chapter have called on the Cross River State Government to embark on massive solar power generation as a means of bridging the inadequate electricity supply in the state.
The call was made by the group Chancellor, Dr. Gertrude Nnanjar Njar recently in Calabar while addressing journalists.
Dr. Njar who is also the State Chairman of Nigerian Institute of Surveyors, said, “Let the state government embark on massive solar energy project as the ultimate source of power supply not relying on the present source which is failing us drastically”.
She lamented that the Ikom culture is gradually fading away because of the influence religion is wielding on our people making them to see our culture as something inimical and a taboo and should therefore be avoided.
Her words: “To most of our people at home we shouldn’t be participating or promoting our culture because of religion; for example the new yam festival is a way of saying thank you God for everything done in our lives; all the provisions he has made and protection he gave us and is still giving us among numerous things”.
According to Dr. Gertrude, “Our aim is to ensure that the voice of Ikom sons and daughter is heard world over, contribute in development of our land, cultures and traditions and to support in the campaign against illiteracy among our youths, the future leaders”. We have a project in view to build a central palace that will house our King and his Chiefs which we hope to commence in less than no time. Also as part of our educational incentives for our students, we launched a bursary fund of 10 thousand naira for 20 beneficiaries. We gave the first batch during our just celebrated new yam festival and the project will be annually, the amount is subject to increase”.
She lauded the initiative behind the explosion of the Yakurr New Yam festival (Leboku), her word: “Our vision is that we will contribute in our little ways to ensure that the Ikom new yam festival is recognized worldwide just as the Yakurr new yam which we started before them but all the same we give kudos to them for the speedy growth. Because we understand the havoc staying in town and city can do to our language, as a means of preserving it, we speak only our dialect in our meetings and other functions; those who can’t hear will catch up with time”.
She appealed to the educated elites in Ikom to start writing/documenting the language so that it won’t just remain in oral format but written.
She advised the younger generation to by any means necessary harmonize with their brothers and sisters anywhere they meet, join their strength in ensuring that their ancestral heritage which is their birth right is properly harnessed, improved, protected and passed on.
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