The Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has noted that language is important to any nation because of its indispensable and vital role in the culture and identity of a people.
Stating this in his address during the closing ceremony of the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP), organized by National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), for the sustenance and promotion of Nigerian indigenous languages, Dr. Ayakoroma said the moment people lose their language, they have lost their identity.
Itemizing philosophy, politics, religion, education, and sports, among others, as what constitute the culture and identity of a people, he said: “All these are necessary to the existence of humanity. No society can do without language. There is need to promote, appreciate and speak our indigenous languages in Nigeria. The beauty of Nigeria is in our various languages.”
Continuing, the ES said these reasons informed why NICO made NILP one of its cardinal programmes, adding: “It is really strategic to us as a Cultural Orientation Institute. This closing ceremony marks the beginning of the Weekend NILP. We will soon start the weekend programme…. The one-month intensive programme is not enough to learn a language…. The weekend programme is to enable the students to continue. It is important for our children to be part of this programme.”
In his remarks, the Acting Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs of the Institute, Mr. Alex Omijie, described the NILP as a huge success, expressing gratitude to the ES for his support and the resource persons, for being really patriotic, adding, “Most of them come from the College of Education and the place is far. They are not doing this because of the money but because of their commitment to Nigeria. They know the importance of language to Nigeria as a country.”
Omijie also appreciated heads of parastatals that have continuously supported the Institute in by sending their staffers, namely, National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), National Gallery of Art (NGA), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), National Orientation Agency (NOA), and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
To show how worthwhile the programme had been, the participants entertained the audience in the various languages they learnt, including Efik, Fulfulde, Gbagyi, Hausa, Igbo, Izon, Nupe, Tiv, and Yoruba, just as prizes were given to the best students in each of the languages taught.
The event, which took place at NICO Headquarters, No. 23 Kigoma Street, Abuja, was attended by some of the resource persons, including Nene Emeka Nwaokoro (Efik), Aliye Gidado (Fulfulde), Barnabas Ushafa (Gbagyi I), Ibrahim Barde (Gbagyi II), Mohammed Nasir Yusuf (Hausa I), Ibrahim Abba Marmara (Hausa II), Anammah Stella (Igbo I), Agbo Chinedu (Igbo II), Pastor Richard Tamaranebi (Izon), Haruna Makusidi (Nupe), Kumuyi Elizabeth (Yoruba I), Olubunmi Debora (Yoruba II), Mr. Ligom John (Tiv), directors and staffers of Staff of NICO.
Nwagbo Pat Obi