22 Apr 2021


As the traditional monthly Inaugural lecture series of the Abia State University, (ABSU) resumes after a long Covid 19 break, a Professor of English, Godwin Iheanyichukwu Nwaogwugwu Emezue, has advocated the use of communicative English among Nigerian users to capture our peculiar meanings, feeling and identity in conversations.
While delivering the 55th Inaugural Lecture of the University on the topic, “ENGLISH? YES. BUT NOT QUITE: THE IGBO-ENGLISH PARADIGM” at the University auditorium, Professor Emezue explained that English should be used to express and communicate our experiences in our own unique way.
According to him, :” The main essence of language is to communicate, to transfer meaning from one mind to another” and as long as that is achieved, the variations and contractions that is associated with the English language among Nigerians or Igbo users should be deemphasized, because no language that comes in contact with another ever remains the same.
However he added, “In terms of grammar, that is the use of correct tenses, concord between subject and verb, let us speak English, but in terms of using words that capture our peculiar semiosis and way of saying it, our watchword should be “communication”, that is, communicating how we mean and feel. So, let us speak communication English” he opined.
In conclusion, he made some recommendations as part of the resolve to challenge the Nigerian English to bear the burden of expressing and communicating our experiences in a better and more pragmatic manner as followsThat English in Nigeria should be accorded and recognized as a distinct and legitimate variety of English, inferior to no other varietyThat there is need for research intensification, for appropriate codification and standardization of the Nigerian English for it to exist in a recognizable form of its own.Attitudinal change, such that users of Nigerian brand of English should not feel linguistically inferior is very neccessaryThe choice of Nigerian words and expressions should not be treated as a mistake or an error. Their usage should not be adjudged incorrect by such examining bodies as WAEC, NECO, JAMB, JUPEB, etc. and marked as wrong.That chief executives and Class A monarchs in Nigeria should use English in the mould Chinua Achebe did in “Things fall apart” to help accord respect and acceptability to it, and enhance the much – needed ethno-cultural consciousness and patriotic zealAnd finally, that we need to have a strong economy and be super great in science and technology, in order to command such respect, that will also make the world approve our brand of English.
Earlier in his opening remark, the Vice Chancellor, and Chairman on the occasion Distinguished Professor O. M Ogbulu, expressed happiness that the Inaugural lecture series has resumed again in the University after the Covid 19 lockdown, and thanked Professor Emezue for kick starting the lectures, which he promised will be coming up every month in the University.He thanked the Governor, and Visitor to the University, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, PhD, for the support to his administration, especially in these difficult times, the members of Senate and the entire Staff for their resilience, understanding, and confidence in the administration, assuring that things will improve very soon.
The Vice Chancellor used the forum to advise parents against compelling their children/wards to seek admission only for Medicine, Law, or Nursing, which has limited quota for admission, when they could exploit opportunities in other courses that are equally lucrative, and provide better chances of getting admission into the University.
In a vote of thanks, the Dean, Faculty of Humanities, Professor Roseline Ndimele, commended the inaugural Lecturer, Professor Godwin Emezue for a job well done, while thanking the Vice Chancellor and Management for their efforts in reinvigorating the Inaugural Lectures series in the University.
She also appreciated the members of Senate, Faculty Members, Staff and Students, and all who spared their time to make the event a huge success.
The highpoint of the occasion was the reception of the Inaugural Lecturer, Professor Godwin Iheanyichukwu Nwaogwugwu Emezue, into the hall of fame of “Distinguished Professors” of the University, and presentation of a plaque to him by Professor Nkpa Agu Nkpa, a former Vice Chancellor, on behalf of the Substantive Vice Chancellor, Distinguished Professor O. M Ogbulu.
The Inaugural Lecture attracted many dignitaries including the Chief Judge Of Abia State, Justice Onuoha Ogwe, top Government functionaries, Senate Members, Visiting academia, Corporate Executives, Clergy, traditional rulers, Church groups, family members, as well as the full complement of the Management team of the University.