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Lawmaker Links Language Preservation To National Development

By Babatunde Adegunju
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The Lawmaker representing Lagos East Senatorial district, Senator Gbenga Ashafa recently reiterates the significance of indigenous languages in Nigeria, stating that the language of each tribe must be held sacrosanct for us to fully develop as a nation.

The lawmaker stated this at the cultural Day of Eyes on the Future Schools, Orile- Agege, where he spoke on the theme: "Our Indigenous Languages must not die".

In his goodwill message as the chairman of the occasion, the lawmaker said that all parents and guardians should cultivate the habit of communicating with their wards in their indigenous languages.

"Protecting our culture and preserving our indigenous languages are tasks before all of us that must be done. So, whether as students, teachers, parents/guardians or government, we must continue to make effort towards ensuring that “Our Indigenous Languages do not Die”. It is our root and heritage that we must never forget, because, as the saying goes, “any one that loses its roots has a lot of hardships to ponder on later in future.

"Therefore, what we gather to do here today is an idea whose time has lapsed. We all must make this happen by cultivating the habit of speaking to our children in our mother tongue at home and facilitating the learning of indigenous languages in schools, as EYES ON THE FUTURE is doing today" he said.

The lawmaker stressed further that at the level of Government,he has been one of the precursors in the advocacy to protect and preserve Nigerian Indigenous languages.

In his words, "I have done this by sponsoring a Bill on the Promotion and Preservation of our Indigenous Languages which is already at the Second Reading in the Senate; and I'm convinced that with the help of my colleagues it will see the light of the day as soon as possible".

The Senator pointed out that most developed countries attained what they are today as a result of the use of their mother tongue both at home and in schools, he mentioned the likes of China, Singapore, Germany, Japan and Britain among others.

"What we all referred to today as development in those places are the results of the easiness with which learning in indigenous languages is identified with, especially at the earlier stage of schooling" he said.

He added that "as a politician,if you are unable to canvass for votes in your mother tongue, the electorates will just make a good mockery of you and even doubt if truly one is a true indigen of the area you are claiming".

Ashafa gave kudos to Engr. Peter and Mrs Sally Omotosho, both the Chairman and Proprietress of the school respectively for a job well done.

Traditional rulers from Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa and Nupe in Orile Agege also spoke in their mother tongues to advice the parents and guardians to always communicate with their wards in their mother tongue.

Some of the dignitaries at the laudable event include, the Executive Chairman of Orile Agege, Hon Taofik Adaranijo, Hon. Ogundimu, the Olu of Agege, Oba Kamila Isiba, the Magaji garin of Agege, Alhaji Ali Zango, the representative of Eze Ohazulike, High Chief Dr. Henry Okoye among others.

Caption:L- R: The Representative Of Eze Ndigbo, Chief Henry Okoye, Senator 'Gbenga Ashafa, The Olu Of Agege, Oba Kamila Isiba And The Executive Chairman, Orile Agege Local Government, Hon. Taofik Adaranijo, During The Cultural Day Of The Eyes On The Future Schools, Agege, Lagos, On Friday.From Babatunde Adegunju, Head Of Media And Strategy. Senator 'Gbenga Ashafa Constituency Office