The Nigerian Army has called on the Federal Government to give adequate support to the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) to enable the Institute sustain its Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) in the Barracks.
The Commander, Army Headquarters Garrison, Major General James Myam who made this call at the closing of the maiden edition of the Language in the Barracks Programme, organized by the Institute on Wednesday, 31st July, 2019 at the Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja, FCT, said there is need to replicate the programme in the various military formations and units so that the gains of the programme can be extended to all parts of the nation.
The commander who was represented by the Garrison Finance and Accounts, Brig. General Felix Ohunyeye, said the programme is very unique as the understanding of our indigenous languages can engender good relationships and cultural diffusion between nations. He further commended the Management and staff of NICO for not relenting on their mandate for cultural trainings and assimilation.
Gen. Nyam said the training could not have come at a better time than now that Nigeria needs all it takes to galvanize and harmonize all cultures, traditions and tribes. In his words “This training is coming at a time when there is need to engender cultural awareness, cultural orientation and spirit of togetherness amongst the various ethnic groups, clans and cultures. This programme has come up with training in the various aspects of cultural awareness, which is being promoted through the instrument of our languages. So it is very important that we have this type of training now so that things like cultural diffusion, language diffusion and ethnic diffusion can easily be brought to bear and engender national unity and cohesion”.
He further disclosed that the understanding of different languages and cultures of neighbouring tribes will go a long way to assist military personnel in improving the quality of intelligence and information gathering, build team work, esprit de corps and togetherness which will foster a solid and formidable bonding for the nation.
Concluding, he made an appeal for the provision of visual facilities in subsequent trainings so that participants will have take home instruments that can help them to improve their learning, proficiency and further deepen their understanding of the languages.
Speaking earlier, the Acting Executive Secretary of NICO, Mr. Louis Eriomala said the programme was conceptualized to draw national attention to the critical importance of indigenous languages and to emphasize the intrinsic relationship between language and development.
Represented by the Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs, MR. Alex Omijie, the NICO ES expressed satisfaction over the massive turnout of participants, saying the whole essence is to promote national unity and integration.
He maintained that the more languages men and officers of the force understand, the more likely they are to interact with their host community and gather information that will enhance professional efficiency and effectiveness.
Media Asst.-Ag. ES