On 15 January 2022, the Ejagham Language Codification Committee (ELCC) delivered equipment to their project partners, the Linguistics Department, University of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. ELCC Alternate Chairperson, Rev. Fr. Dr. Felix Eja Ojong, made the presentation. He was accompanied by Nta Ben Ntui and D. C. Ekup-Nse (Secretary, ELCC). The equipment comprised a Laptop, Sound Boosters, and 200 copies of ELCC wordlist.
During the presentation, Rev. Fr. Dr. Felix Eja Ojong thanked the Head, staff, and all language experts who are providing their expertise to realise an Ejagham Language Orthography. He emphasized that the success of this project will be the prerequisite for the advancement of Ejagham people and local communities. He further thanked all the generous donors who provided EjT with the resources to purchase these equipment.
Receiving the equipment on behalf of the Linguistics Department, University of Calabar, its most senior Phonologist, Prof. Bassey Okon, expressed immense gratitude to EjT for providing the equipment necessary for their technical work. She praised EjT and described the ongoing project as one needed to save the Ejagham language from extinction.
‘We are indeed grateful that the Ejagham Language Codification [Committee] has provided the items needed, and we know that with this presentation, the work is going to move faster. So, within the next month or so, in spite of the exams [in the university of Calabar], we will see how far we can go before we get in the Consultant [an expert Phonologist from University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria].
‘We are really appreciative of the interest in our indigenous languages because that will help the language not to die, and we don’t want any language to die, especially, our languages… We are really appreciative that this committee has seen it fit to contribute to the preservation of Ejagham language,’ said Prof. Bassey Okon.
Present at the event was the Chairperson of ELCC, Prof. Stella Ansa, who doubles as the Head, Linguistics Department, University of Calabar. She stressed that while Linguistics Department is offering the technical skills for this project, EjT owns all its products.
‘When we [the Linguistics department] are done, we’ll get all the materials back to the owners [ELCC]. What you want from us are documents, and it is the document along with whatever you have provided for us to be able to provide you with the documents we say we are doing, can you take back your things,’ she said.
This project was launched on 2 May 2020 and ELCC has collated the first set of data required from all Ejagham dialects in Nigeria and the Cameroons. This data has been handed over to the Linguistics Department, University of Calabar. However, the Department is set to engage its students in rigorous fieldwork across Ejagham Communities to collect additional data for the project.
By Daniel Ekup-Nse for EjT Media
21:12 GMT 16 Jan 2022, Updated 17:15 GMT 17 Jan 2022