In his resolve to revive the Ahiajoku Center, 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 former member of the Imo State House of Assembly, gave the indication when he paid a courtesy visit to ImoState Commissioner for TTourism, Barr. Jerry Egemba, to seek the Ministry’s support and partnership towards reviving the Ahiajoku Center and Lecture.
The Director General noted that the rebranding of the 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 anddrama, and we shall publish books on Igbo folklore”.
Nze Emeana informed the Commissioner that the Ahiajoku Lecture started in 1979.
and that it had been institutionalized by the Imo State Government.
He added that all Igbo people, irrespective of their geopolitical zone or where they lived, were serious stakeholders in matters relating to the Ahiajoku Lecture and the Institute.
The Director General, who doubles as a Special Adviser to the 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; helping 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 experience in administration and lawmaking, 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 academia”.
He expressed hope that the Ahiajoku Lecture and the Institute would get the attention they deserved from the
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.