The Acting Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Mr. Louis Eriomala has called on security personnel in the country to take advantage of the Institute’s language in the barracks programme, saying it will go a long way to enhance effective national security.

Eriomala who was speaking at the opening of a two-month Nigerian Indigenous Language Training for Prison officers at the Kuje Medium Security Prison tagged “Language in the Barracks” on Thursday, May 30, 2019 said if officers have understanding of languages other than their mother tongue, intelligence gathering can also be easily achieved.

Represented by the Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Alex Omijie, Eriomala said the programme is designed to make the officers have closer ties with their host community as well as help them in information and intelligence gathering.

According to him, the Institute over the years, has the understanding that language is an important vehicle for the transmission of culture; national unity and integration which is the reason for organizing the programme; specifically designed for security personnel as well as their family members to enable them appreciate our culture and take pride in our indigenous languages.

His words “We have had other editions of the language programme previously but it is difficult to bring officers out of the barracks and we have decided to take the programme to them and by the time they are able to learn and understand these languages, they would be able to get information easily, which will go a long way to promote national security”.

On his part, the Comptroller of Prisons, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command, Mustapha Iliyasu Atta, who chaired the occasion, said NICO’s initiative of taking the languages to the barracks is a step in the right direction as it would go a long way in helping security personnel to learn other Nigerian languages.

While commending the Institute for the initiative, Mustapha said it is timely, especially now that our indigenous languages are critically threatened with extinction due to the steady decline in their usage, especially by the younger generation.

He opined that rather than claim ignorance of the gradual erosion of our cultural values which has invariably threatened the existence of our indigenous languages, there must be concerted efforts from relevant stakeholders to reverse this ugly trend. “Parents, educational institutions, religious bodies, the media, governmental institutions and government at all levels have their roles to play in ensuring that Nigerian languages are used at every level of social interaction.”

The programme which will be for two months from May, 30 to July, 30, 2019 from 3pm-6pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday is expected to feature Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba languages.

Other dignitaries present at the opening ceremony of the programme were: the Gomou of Kuje, HRH Alhaji Haruna Tanko Jubrin who was ably represented by Alh. Bello Mohammed Usman; former chairman, Kuje Area Council, Hon Shaban Tete; Chief Superintendent of Prisons, Audu Eyeni and Head of Yourba Language Department, College of Education, Zuba, Mr. Alonge Isaac, who was represented by Ayeni Festus.

Caleb Nor

Media Asst.-Ag. ES