Nigerians have been advised to patronize the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) being organized by National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), as it is a programme that will safeguard Nigerian indigenous languages.
The Sakaruyi of Karu, His Royal Highness Emmanuel Kyuauta Yepwi, who gave this advice at closing ceremony of the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP), at Merit House, Aguiyi Ironsi Way, Maitama, Abuja, on Friday, September 2, 2011, expressed worries over many Nigerian languages almost going into extinction.
Describing NILP as a laudable programme, the traditional ruler, was the royal father of the day, said indigenous languages can help impact values into Nigerian children and youths: “A lot has been said about the extinction of our local languages. I am worried about it. But I am happy about NICO. This NILP programme will help our languages in Nigeria to survive, so that they will not go into extinction. A lot of emphasis has been placed on cultural re-orientation and resuscitation of our morals and ethical values. It is through languages we can achieve that. So, NICO is doing very well.”
HRH Yepwi further stated that language will help in achieving cultural re-orientation because it is the most basic and versatile medium of communication, adding that it does not only build our relationship, it binds us together as a people, especially when spoken in our mother tongue.
The monarch continued: “Language plays a great role in the developmental process of any nation. I want to say that this is one of the most important programmes of the Institute, taking into consideration its objectives. In this regard, I give my traditional blessing and continuous support towards the sustainability of the programme… I urge all of you to make sure that national unity and identity for which the programme reflects are achieved.’’
Earlier in his remarks, the Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma, stated that NILP is in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda: “The teaching of Nigerian Indigenous languages by NICO has contributed tremendously towards achieving Mr. President’s transform agenda. This noble project has great potentials of encouraging tolerance, dialogue, and mutual respect, thus, creating conducive environment for good governance and peaceful co-existence.’’
It will be recalled that the 4-week intensive long vacation indigenous language programme was declared open by the Honourable Minister for Culture, Tourism & National Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke, on Monday, August 1, 2011.