The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) has again, reiterated the need for Nigerians to continuously speak their indigenous languages to ensure they don’t go into extinction.
The Acting Executive of NICO, Mr. Louis Eriomala made this known on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at the closing of the maiden edition of the Language in the Barracks at the Nigeria Police College Ikeja, Lagos State.
Eriomala who enjoined all Nigerians to keep indigenous languages alive by speaking them always, maintained that language is one of the major factors that represent our culture and if we allow it to die, our culture will also die.
According to him, language has the capacity to ensure unity among a people, which explains why the Institute initiated the Language in the Barracks programme, saying the just concluded edition is important as it will help men and officers of the force to relate cordially with the people in the environment and enhance effective policing.
He therefore charged the officers who have received training in the various indigenous languages not to relent in speaking the languages they have learnt in order to improve on them and speak fluently.
The Commandant, Nigerian Police College, Ikeja, C.P Olasupo Ajani in his remarks, commended NICO’s foresight under the leadership of Eriomala for initiating the “Language in the Barracks” programme, stating that language is a very essential tool to humanity because of its unifying factor.
He said the program is essential as it provides the opportunity for Police officers who are always on the transfer to different states in the country for official duty to understand languages other than their mother tongue. According to him, understanding these languages will help them to communicate effectively in any environment they find themselves.
For pioneer Executive Secretary of NICO, Mrs Victoria Agodo, Language is a living thing and one of the ways to keep it alive is by consistently speaking it to our offsprings both at home and to pupils in schools. While expressing concern over reports of threats that most Nigerian indigenous languages may go into extinction, Mrs Agodo opined that the Institute’s Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme will help to revive them.
She lamented that while our values as a people are embedded in our indigenous languages, civilization and modernization have contributed in no small measure in the exponential death of our languages, which leaves the younger generation feeling ashamed to speak their mother tongue.
In their goodwill messages, Inspector Ambali, applauded NICO for organizing the programme, stating that language unites people and when we understand each other, we will experience peace in the nation. Chief Olatunde Olusina, the Bale of Onikoko Town, Ewekoro LGA, Ogun State solicited more participation from officers in subsequent editions in order to foster unity in the society. Inspector Bankole Wasiu commended NICO for the opportunity given to them to participate in the programme and called for the inclusion of the programme in the curriculum of the Nigeria Police College, Ikeja for subsequent new intakes as it will assist in carrying their duties when they are eventually posted out.
Highlights of the event were Playlet and songs presentation by the Arewa group; rendition of cultural songs by NICO Lagos choral group; performances from the participants in the three language classes; and presentation of awards to the best students in each language class as well as award of certificates participants.
Others present at the event were; Mrs. Bridget Yerima (Director Training School, NICO, Lagos) who was represented by the Head of Corporate Affairs Unit, NICO Training School Lagos, Mr. Anthony Okafor; Mr. Alex Omijie (Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs, NICO HQ); Alhaji Ibrahim Lawal (Head, Lagos Liaison Office); Alhaji Basiru Wale Mohammed; Felix Oristheyi (Head Master, St. Agnes Nursery and Primary School, Maryland Lagos); and High Chief Ajiroba of Babanloma Land among others.
Corporate Affairs Unit,