The second phase of the SWZ Weekend Indigenous Language Programme witnessed a large turnout of over 160 participants, when it began on Saturday, 8th February, 2014, this time at the Fiwasaye Girls Grammar School, Akure, Ondo State.

A breakdown of the number showed that the Igbo class recorded the highest number of participants with one hundred (100), Hausa class recorded fifty (50) and the Yoruba class recorded eleven (11) people in attendance; and the resource persons are Mrs. Ogechukwu Nwokorie (Igbo), Mrs. Flora Sodje (Hausa), and Mr. Bola Oludemi (Yoruba).

In his address, Head, NICO South-West Zone, Mr. Ohi Ojo, urged the participants to see the continuation of the weekend language programme as a great opportunity provided by the Institute for interested persons to learn other Nigerian indigenous languages other than theirs.

He further emphasized the need people to learn the major Nigerian languages as this would enable the participants, who were mostly students, to have a sense of belonging and feel more comfortable wherever they find themselves in any part of the country.

He added that after completion of their university degree, if posted outside their geo-political zone for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, they would be able to communicate and appreciate the cultures and ways of life of their host communities.

A curious discovery during the programme was that some participants (mostly students) registered to learn their mother tongue, for example, Miss sws1

Blessing Oyinbo, Miss Peace Nnakwe, Miss Francisca Adaobi Anagboso and Miss Isioma Ogodor, who are of Igbo origin, but being brought up in Akure spoke Yoruba fluently and English; thus, they wanted to use the opportunity of the programme to learn Igbo language.

On the other hand, Miss Queen David, Miss Ruth Ifada, Miss Atinuke Adesida and Miss Oluwatosin Ojoge, who are of Yoruba origin but spoke only English also admitted they wanted to use the opportunity of the programme to learn the Yoruba language, which is fulfillment of part of the aims of the programme.

Other participants include Evangelist Sunday Owolabi as well as teachers who accompanied their students to the programme, like Mrs. K.A. Ojo from Igoba High school and Mrs. Abiodun Makinde from FUTA Staff School. NICO staffers in attendance include, Mrs. Funmilola Owan, Head, Budget Unit and Mrs. Ruth Oyenekan, Head, O & CA.

Funmilola Owan