‘Nigerians Should Communicate With Children In Mother Tongues’

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From Julius B. Kezi, Kafanchan
Nigerians have been advised to communicate with their children in their mother tongues; to save their languages from extinction.
The advice was given by Mr. Ishaya Dary Akau, a former commissioner in Kaduna state and National chairman SURE-P; during the commissioning cum N20 million fund raising for the construction of North Central Zonal Office of the Nigeria Bible Translation Trust (NBTT) Kagoro; held at the Kagoro Town Hall.
Speaking on the topic. “ The Relevance Of Language And Cultural Sustainability” Akau, who was Guest Speaker said most languages, especially those in central Nigeria were endangered and if nothing is done to salvage them, they might be extinct within the next 30 years.
The Guest Speaker observed that language was critical to man’s existence, aside from being an expression of culture.
He lamented that most Nigeria’s minor languages and cultures, were dying and their resuscitation efforts by the NBTT must be supported by all.
While calling on the traditional institutions and Community Development Associations to promote and speak their languages, Mr. Akau also urged government at all levels, to develop a curriculum for the various languages and train teachers that will teach them in schools.
Chairman of the occasion and former Chief Of Defence Staff, Gen. Martin Luther Agwai, appealed to various communities in the zone to return the use of their languages for communication, especially at family and community levels to save the languages and cultures from extinction.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the North Central Zonal Office of the Nigeria Bible Translation Trust, the Executive Director (NBTT) Jos, Mr. Yakubu Aba La’ah said, so far, 120 language communities have translated the Holy Bible in their various languages.
Mr. La’ah said apart from translating the Holy Bible, the NBTT made frantic efforts at resuscitating many languages that are facing the risk of extinction.
He said the establishment of the Kagoro zonal office was informed by the drive to take the ministry closer to the people and communities that were direct beneficiaries.
It was gathered that Nigeria was the first to establish a Bible Translation Centre In West Africa and was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in 1962.
Chief Daniel Gilbert Lai, NBTT interim zonal chairman north central zone, said the zonal office has been able to translate the Bible into over 40 languages while work was ongoing on 18 other languages, which include Adara, Akurmi, Gade, Gure, Gworog and Hyam, Ikulu, Iten, Janji, Mada, Nikyob, Ninzo, Rigwe, Sholio, Takad and Tyap.

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