The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja 11 and Senator Olugbenga Ashafa representing Lagos East have called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to revisit the country’s education language policy to prevent extinction of indigenous languages in Nigerian.
Ooni said indigenous language is the beauty of culture and moral values and promised to convene a stakeholder conference on the status of Yoruba language in Nigeria.
Ogunwusi, and Ashafa made case for the promotion of Yoruba language during this year International Mother Tongue Day organised at Ife city, Hall Ile- Ife Osun State, by Jabulani Media Link.
According to Ogunwusi, poor status of Yoruba as language of education has constituted hindrance to culture and tourism development adding that most of educated elites are not familiar with the rudiment of Yoruba culture and tradition.
Oguwusi said promotion of Yoruba language will form part his peace and development to integrate all Yoruba race across the globe.
Senator Ashafa who was represented at the event by Professor Orimogunje Oladele to deliver a lecture on the Role of Legislature in Promoting Indigenous Language in Nigeria said regardless of legal instrument in support of Yoruba language disposition of the elites especially in academic community by developing modern literatures and see Yoruba as a language of pride.
He identified inferiority complex of Yoruba speakers against English language as one of the danger against the survival of Yoruba language and urged the Ooni of Ife to work together with South West Governors, Traditional Institutions and State Assemblies to formulate a programme of actions that will sustain the existence of the language.
Guest Lecture Professor Adeniyi Harison said various studies have proved that mother tongue is best language of education to facilities better understanding of the students at the elementary level.
He made reference to Ife project of late Professor Aliu Babatunde Fafunwa of 1975 where students that were thought with Yoruba language perform far better in sciences and mathematics than their colleagues thought with English language adding that most developed countries such as China and India are using indigenous languages which has expanded their economy beyond imagination.
He blamed European infiltration and deficient education language policies in Nigeria for the poor status of the language and encouraged the youths increase their passion in study Yoruba at university level.
Executive Secretary of Jabulalani Media Link, Afolabi Jolaoluwa while lunching 1Million stickers to stimulate speaking Yoruba language said the event will be organised annually to promote Yoruba language and culture.
Dignitaries at the event include the Osun State Former Governor Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, represented by Babatunde Ayanlade, Professor Kola Oyewo, Pa Peter Fatomlola among others
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