gombe1Nigerians have been told that they could only relegate indigenous languages to the background at their peril, as the fact remains that, learning languages other than one’s own hastens one’s integration wherever one finds oneself.

The Director (Culture), Ministry of Culture & Tourism, Gombe State, Mrs. Victoria Maimuda stated this at the closing ceremony of the 2nd edition of Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP), organized by National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Gombe State Office, on Friday, 12th September, 2014 at Government Science Secondary School, Jekadafari, Gombe.

Represented by Deputy Director (Culture) in Ministry, Mrs. Maimuna Batari, the Director implored the participants to put to practice what they had learnt, so as to attain proficiency and to as well register their wards in the next edition of the language programme.

Speaking during the ceremony, the Head, NICO Gombe State Office, Mr. Yahaya Mohammed Sanda, emphasized the importance of speaking the mother tongue, stressing that, “for any development to be sustainable, it must be firmly rooted in the people’s culture and culture being the social fingerprints of people is what makes them who they are as a people and any effort geared toward preserving them cannot be measured in material value.”

gombe2He further challenged participants to pinpoint other media through which culture could be transmitted from one generation to another aside language, urging them to brace up for the challenges facing Nigerian indigenous languages and save them from extinction by continually putting to practice what they had learnt in the 4-weeks long vacation programme in order for them to be proficient both orally and in writing in the indigenous languages.

The State Co-ordinator also expressed gratitude to Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Gombe, for giving the programme full media coverage, praying for their continued support for the Institute’s effort to re-orientate Nigerians to live culture-oriented life-styles, just as he was equally thankful to the resource persons and the participants for their tenacity and determination in creating time out of their very busy engagements to partake in the programme, enjoining them to come along with their children and wards in the next edition.

The Principal of Government Science Secondary School, Jekadafari-Gombe, Alhaji Ahmad Madugu, who was the Chief Host, encouraged participants to make judicious use of the knowledge acquired to integrate the good people of Gombe State and Nigeria, at large, further pledging to gombe3support the Institute’s State Office in their effort to preserve and promote Nigerian indigenous languages and culture.

Participants demonstrated the knowledge acquired in the various languages taught during the programme by singing and exhibiting other forms of drama, unanimously expressing optimism that the programme had added value to their individual personalities, and promising to sustain the relationship the programme had created between them and the Institute.

The second edition of the annual indigenous language programme organized in Gombe State since the activation of NICO Gombe State Office in 2013, recorded 63 participants from government agencies, ministries and departments; and present at the closing ceremony were some of the resource persons, namely, Mr. Friday David Dantata (Tangale) Mr. Omobayo Ayodele (Yoruba), Mrs. Nkechi Ajokwu (Igbo), and other invited guests.

Anongu Thomas

NICO, Gombe State Office.