By Ahmed Suleiman
The Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji (Dr) Ibrahim Sulu Gambari has urged the Kwara State House of Assembly to pass a bill that will ensure indigenous languages are spoken in by pupils and employees in schools and work places respectively.
The Emir gave the charge at the state Banquet Hall, Ilorin, on Tuesday, at the 8th annual public lecture marking; “The mother tongue day” with the theme “Linguistic diversity and multilingualism: Keystones of sustainability and peace.”
The Emir, who was represented by the Magaji Nda of Ilorin, Alhaji Soliu Woru Mohammed stated this on the heels of the fear that native languages are going into extinction and there is the compelling need to revive local languages.
In his remarks, the convener of the event, Jolaoluwa Afolabi stressed that children no longer speak indigenous languages due to lack of encouragement from parents and teachers.
He said, “Kwara State Government should emulate its compatriots in Lagos that has passed into law a bill permitting students of government owned tertiary institutions to communicate in Yoruba language.
“It is necessary to speak our mother tongue especially to our children at home and the generation of nowadays or else it may go into extinction like some people had predicted. We should give our mother tongue a space especially in the school curriculum, workplace and in our way of life,” he said.
Speaking further, he noted, “There should be a summit that will cut across all the languages in Kwara State to pick one of the mother tongues to be adopted. We should revisit the ways they teach in the 70s. I remember some of our elders do teach us Mathematics in Yoruba language, science subjects in Yoruba language and English language in Yoruba. It sinks more than teaching students an alien language that is not our mother tongue. But when you teach in Yoruba language it goes a long way in the minds of everybody,” he submitted.
In attendance were, the Representative of the Chief of Staff, Comrade Bisi Fakayode, former HOD Mass Communication, Kwara State Polytechnic, Muibi Lawal, Ohoro Shao, Dr. Bamidele Adegbite and other government functionaries.