In his resolve to revive the Ahiajoku Centre, Ray Emeana, the Director General of the Center, has disclosed that the Annual Ahiajoku Lecture would be rebranded, a museum established and books published on Igbo folklore.
Ray Emeana, a holder of the revered Nze title and former member of Imo State
House of Assembly, gave the indication when he paid a courtesy visit to Imo
State Commissioner for tourism. Barr. Jerry Egemba, to seek the Ministry’s support and partnership towards reviving Ahiajoku Center and Lecture.
The Director General noted that the rebranding of Ahiajoku Lecture would make the people appreciate its essence and drop the notion that the lecture and other activities of the Center had fetish religious dimensions.
He said, “We have an enormous task to revive the Center; the revival will begin
with a rebranding to make people stop associating Ahiajoku Lecture and other
activities of the Institute with fetish religious practices.
“We hope to come up with a work plan and a committee for the next lecture.
“I envision an Institute where we have a Museum; our children know nothing
about our traditional architecture and other indigenous technologies. We intend to have a performing troupe that will showcase salient aspects of Igbo music and drama, and we shall publish books on Igbo folklore”.
Nze Emeana informed the Commissioner that Ahiajoku Lecture started in 1979
and that it had been institutionalized by Imo State Government.
He added that all Igbo persons irrespective of geopolitical zone or where they lived were serious stakeholders in matters relating to Ahiajoku Lecture and the Institute.
The Director General who doubles as a Special Adviser to Imo State Governor
asked for the guidance and partnership of the Ministry of Tourism.
He said, “Ahiajoku is a tourism product; the Institute needs the buy-in of the Ministry of Tourism because the Ministry has important roles to play for the lecture to be successful. We are here to seek your guidance, your direction, partnership and blessing”, he concluded.
Speaking, the Tourism Commissioner, Barr. Jerry Egemba, charged the Director
General to make the Institute the pride of all Igbo persons by “defining the
identity of the Igbo and getting the whole world to know who the Igbo truly is; help us and the world to understand our culture and change the prejudices and
stereotypes about us that are not real”.
Barr. Jerry Egemba described Nze Ray Emeana as a dependable resource person who had a lot of experiences in administration and law making adding that he delivered excellent results in all tasks he handled.
The Commissioner said Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, had “respect for creativity and ingenuity, for intellectualism, and appreciates the high ranking of Imo State in attainments in the academia”.
He expressed hope that Ahiajoku Lecture and the Institute would get the attention it deserved from the Hope
Uzodimma administration and promised the cooperation of the Ministry of Tourism with the Center.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Sir T.U.C. Nwokonkwo was among the top management of the Ministry that received the visitors.
Deputy Director Information
Ministry of Tourism.