By Olayinka Agboola
Both the Lagos State House of Assembly and the Governor of the state, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode have been commended for moving to protect and promote Yoruba language.
This commendation was given by the leadership of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN Commission) as represented by Mr Seye Oyeleye, its Acting Director-General while speaking with PMParrot at his Cocoa House Office in Ibadan on Friday.
Apparently reacting to the Thursday, February 8, 2018 signing of the Yoruba Language Preservation and Promotion Law by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, DAWN Commission said “Governor Ambode and indeed members of the LSHA must be applauded for taking this giant step in preserving the Yoruba language because it is a huge fallacy to think the Yoruba language as it is today is not endangered, no matter how important a language is or widely spoken, if active steps are not taken to preserve it for the future it will go extinct. A case in mind is that of Latin language.”
Oyeleye continued “At DAWN Commission, we are working with our member states to strengthen the teaching and use of the language in our schools and society, I know plans are afoot to teach some basic subjects at primary school level in Yoruba.
“Studies have clearly demonstrated that a pupil assimilates and develops faster when the mode of instruction is in his/her first language. It will take a lot of concerted effort to reverse the noticeable trend to relegate the use of Yoruba language among the youth and indeed the educated middle class.
“Indeed it is a misnomer to prevent your child from speaking your local language thinking it will affect their development, the reverse is the case as the more languages you speak the greater the capacity of your brain to reason.
“Lagos under the leadership of Gov. Ambode must be thoroughly commended for signing this bill and we look forward to it being replicated eventually in the other 5 states. The highest form of slavery is when you are denied or lose your language, Lagos has started the fight back.”
Meanwhile, while explaining further about the new law on the promotion of Yoruba language, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos, Hon Kehinde Bamigbetan had this to say “For the first time it will become normal for you to be admitted into any of our tertiary institutions with a credit in Yoruba language and Yoruba will now become a major requirement for you to engage in normal business communication in Lagos State.
“This is a clear and conscious commitment to the position which Lagos State prides Yoruba language as the cultural vehicle for us to be able to articulate our position and it also shows that Lagos has furthered recognised the importance of language as a vehicle for development,” Bamigbetan said.
Source: PM Parrot Nigeria