An indigenous language is a language that is native to a region and spoken by the indigenous people; but many indigenous people worldwide have stopped passing on their native languages to the next generation and have instead adopted the majority language, as part of their acculturation into majority cultures revealing their vulnerability.
Little wonder then that, the United Nations (UN) proclaimed 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages to draw attention of member nations to the critical loss of indigenous languages and the urgent need to preserve, revitalize and promote the indigenous languages.
It is in the above light that, the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) organizes the 4-week long vacation Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) annually throughout its zonal and state offices in the six geo-political zones of the country.
At the opening of this years’ programme at the NICO Minna State Office, the 5th edition in the series, the State Coordinator, Mrs. Olufunke Ndukwe, urged participants to use the 4-week programme very seriously to learn and acquire more knowledge about other languages to foster unity among the different ethnic groups in the country.
The State Coordinator further advised parents on the need to give their children/wards the opportunity to participate in the one month vacation programme, which is taking place at the U. K. Bello Arts Theatre complex premises, Minna, Niger State, to learn more about their or other languages.
In his address, the HOD, Orientation and Cultural Affairs, NICO Minna, Mallam Sidi Aliyu Galadima, thanked staffers of NICO and the participants for making the event colourful, and stressing that the programme is very important to all strata of the Nigerian society.
Mallam Galadima also used the opportunity to introduce the resource persons for the various languages to be taught in the study centre, which include, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Gbagyi, Nupe and Kamuku, with each of the resource persons giving brief introduction on their backgrounds.
The study programme, however, commenced immediately with the Igbo language resource person, Mrs. Obi Miriam.
Aminat Asaburu & Peter Gift