AFTER years of planning, tinkering and preparation, the first Igbo language newspaper, Ikoro, is ready. The newspaper will be presented on March 15 by Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha.Nwankwo, Special Adviser to the Imo State Governor on Igbo Affairs, said eminent Igbo leaders including Dr Alex Ekwueme, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (retd), Chief Enwo Igariwey, Pascal Dozie and Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (retd) among others are expected at the ceremony billed for Imo Internal Conference Centre, Owerri. Nwankwo, who is also director, Ikemba Odumegwu Ojukwu Centre, OWENI, spoke during a courtesy visit to Vanguard Newspapers. Apart from Ikoro, he said the governor would on the same day launch the compulsory learning and teaching of Igbo language in all schools in Imo State. Asked if the governor was copying the Yoruba and Hausa, which have newspapers in both languages, Nwankwo said no, stressing that the move is to ensure that the Igbo language did not go into extinction. ‘’The fact that Igbo language is going extinct, which is a dangerous development is behind the move. If nothing is done to arrest the situation, we will have identity crisis. We felt attention should be paid to the reading of Igbo language, which is part of our culture. It is time for us to go back to our roots and be proud of our language,’’ he said. He said the compulsory learning and teaching of Igbo language in all schools in Imo up to first and second years in higher institutions is backed by the “Development of Igbo Language Law 9 of the Imo State House of Assembly.’’ Disclosing that publication of Ikoro is being funded and sponsored by the Imo State Government, he said the paper would cover the five South-East states and other Igbo-speaking parts of the country.