identity of Ika People is Ika Language which seems to have gone into extinction
in many Ika homes and places of work. There is no denying the fact that many
Ika People do not speak Ika Language in their homes.

                Suffice it to State that many
homes where both parents are Ika indigenes do not speak the Ika Language for
their children to emulate and for the children to see it as their first
Language (mother tongue). English which many speak always is a foreign Language
owned by the white people. It falls under our second language. It is obvious to
speak it and write it well because it is our lingual Franca (Language that is
generally spoken and used by Nigerians), to be able to meet our social, moral
and academic challenges. Imperatively, our lingual Franca should not take the
place of our mother tongue because our mother tongue which is Ika Language is
the true identity of Ika People wherever they are found. When the true identity
of a people is lost, it means that their inalienable right and aspiration is
thwarted. This should not be attributed to the good people of Ika nation!
Hence, it is wormsome that a person who calls himself an Ika man or woman
cannot speak Ika Language fluently. Not able to speak it, one could miss vital
opportunities when God places an Ika person in a position or place to be of
help to that individual.

                In Ika markets and shops, it
looks as if Ika Language is far dead because majority of the people do not use
it to negotiate prices of goods and services. Even the old men and women who
are supposed to speak it well have neglected it to large extent. The question
now is, should we allow the true identity of Ika people to go into extinction?

                The importance of speaking ones
language is too numerous to mention. It helps to promote ones culture; it helps
to create mutual understanding and acceptance between people of the same
origin, it bridges information gaps; it units people of the same origin and
also make people of the same cultural background to be recognized in public. An
Ika person who recognized the importance of the points stated above stand a
chance of living a pleasant life within and outside Ika metropolis.

                Special thanks to the chairman
of Collective Leadership of Onu Ika, Nigeria, Mr. Daniel Usifoh, for his
untiring efforts at sensitizing people on the media on the need to identify
with Onu Ika. In his words in Ika Weekly Newspaper Published on Saturday March
16  Saturday March 23, 2013, page 7 “He
said Onu Ika is a selfless organization formed about fifteen years ago to cater
for the welfare of Ika People and to promote Ika culture. The organization is
recognized by the Delta State Government and has since its establishment
organized seminars and book launch that bother on the development of Ika
culture and language.

                Mr. Usifoh also disclosed “that
not many of our children know about past Ika heroes like Late Anuku, Orikeze
and many others. Today, the Yorubas still remember Chief Obafemi Awolowo and
the role he played towards the development of Yoruba land. We must do what
people will remember us for. We need to be role models in our community. If we
do not know, Onu Ika is equivalent to Ohaneze ndi Igbo in terms of
achievements. Onu Ika has succeeded in addressing issues that bothers on the
development of Ika nation”.

                People from other ethnic
nationalities like Igbos, Yorubas and Hausas try so much to uphold their
identity by speaking their language (mother tongue) to their people anywhere
they are found. They do this to demonstrate and retain their oneness, love,
culture, peace and tranquility. Indeed, the benefits of identifying oneself
with his or her language cannot be measured in terms of money.

                The publisher of Ika Weekly
Newspaper, Mr. Steve EkiriMekiriuwa Ashien should be commended for his selfless
effort at educating, entertaining, informing and socializing the public,
especially Ika people by continually publishing Ika proverbs, idioms and write
ups in his newspaper.

In a bid to
encouraging people to be effective in writing, he made it a point of duty to be
strongly appreciating the efforts of three best authors of Ika indigenes in
English-literature at every anniversary of the newspaper.

                To immensely reawakening the
spirit of Ika Language for the benefit of Ika children and generation yet
unborn, hands must be on deck. Ika parents should intensify effort at speaking
the Ika language always and fluently to their children, relatives and friends.
Identification of oneself in public by speaking his language is of paramount
importance. Indigenes of Ika should identify with Onu Ika group. Onu Ika should
organize more seminars aimed at speaking and writing Ika Language seriously.
Government should introduce Ika language as a subject that should be thought in
primary and secondary school across the two local governments. Let us help to
sustain Ika Language because “Onye Dozi Ihen, Orina mma, N’enyi Dozi Ika
N’ozorini Enyi mma. Nke Onye Asua.”


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