The Nigerian government has expressed concern over the threat of extinction of local languages in the country.
What’s the threat?
The Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Segun Runsewe, expressed the government’s concern while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), as he noted Nigerians’ increasing preference for the English language. Runsewe expressed fears of a further decline in morality, as he said that the dangers inherent in the trend are beyond the negative impact on local languages.
Runsewe argued that the increasing decline in morality is a direct result of society’s consumption of foreign cultures. According to the DG, youths are deep into immorality due to the way they imbibe other people’s cultures, which is another proof of the complexities of elevating a foreign language above the local ones. “Today, if you go for an occasion and you speak the English language wrongly people will laugh at you”, Runsewe said.
What solutions did he proffer? Runsewe advocated reorientation and adequate enlightenment to create awareness for parents, schools, and relevant agencies on the dangers of neglecting Nigerian languages. “The problem is that parents want their children to speak English phonetics”, he said. Stressing how serious his concern is, Runsewe called for a policy that will ensure English ceases to be Nigeria’s official language.