Don advocates promotion of indigenous languages in religious centres 

 

A university don, Professor Idowu Odebode, has charged religious organisations to promote local languages by using them in their worship centres.

Odebode who is a Professor of Onomastics and Sociolinguistics in the department of English, Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun state, made the call while delivering the series 13 of inaugural lecture titled: “From revitalisation to bastardisation towards attrition: reflections on linguistic Onomastics,” recently.

He called on government at all levels to employ more indigenous and ensure that the learning of indigenous language is free in all tertiary institutions.

“It is not too late to start or to improve. Individually, we can begin to speak the indigenous languages to our children at home. Parents should know that they are the first agents of socialisation for their children. The next agent of socialisation is the school. Thus, our institutions of learning (primary to tertiary) should include the indigenous language in their curricula. 

“The Lagos State University recently did this by including Yoruba in its General Studies Curriculum. Besides, our religious organisations can also assist in promoting the local languages by using them in their worship centres. 

“The media houses should double their efforts in revitalising the indigenous languages by promoting them through their channels as socialising agents. Our youth should cultivate the habit of conversing in Yoruba and other indigenous languages on social media among peers. 

“Government should hire more indigenous language teachers and make the study of the indigenous languages free in our higher institutions,” Odebode said.

The vice chancellor of the university, Professor Shadrach Akindele, lamented continuous desecration of culture and local languages, describing it as a bad omen for the future of the country.

He expressed displeasure over the way Nigerian culture is being lost in the name of civilisation, warning that urgent steps must be taken by parents and other stakeholders to correct the mistake.