Nigeria as a country is blessed with diversity in almost all areas especially after the emergency of amalgamation which is ‘disamalgamating’ us, from diverse language to tribe, culture, and natural resources among many others. This could be seen as blessing to this nation.
For this cause, the results of this diversity is gradually becoming more of curse than blessing because we have chosen to channel our strength to the negative part. Or should I say, this is as a result of the diversity in our mind too that we couldn’t bring into unison.
For the purpose of this write up, my emphasis is on language which in the hand of man preserves, conserves, transmits and appropriates functions and does so across space and time thereby enabling him to overcome those physical limitations to human endeavours and achievements as said by someone. We have three indigenous languages as the major accepted languages in the country, which are Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. Among these major indigenous languages, it is sad that none of them is our official language, I mean our lingua franca.
However, the imported external language has become the adopted and most reference language within the nation to the extent that those local internal languages have become bastards to us. We so much value the so called lingua franca to the extent that people tend speak it even more than the original owner, they so much fine tune their intonation that will make you think they were born with the language whilst you now research further most times you discover they were uttering beautiful nonsense. That is why I could not dare to write this article in any of the languages because of the fear that it might not get published or no one will try to read or the worst part of me not writing accurately not even up to this standard.
While those that try to speak or imbibe these local languages are affected by government policy on language in the aspect of recognition of official language, lack of parental guidance because most parents nowadays want their children to be grammarians, It seems as generation goes by, we are losing command of traditional languages, it very difficult to see the younger ones communicate in their mother’s tongue, in fact some of these languages are listed to be close to extinction according to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESSCO). In some cases, native speakers are tagged as uncivilized and to crown it all fear of persecution.
Since it is very obvious that our indigenous languages are fading off, should we still continue in making English our Lingua franca or we just allow this indigenous of a things die in peace. No matter how we try to fuse these indigenous languages in any of our activities without making it the most prominent language, then we should forget preserving it.
Finally, if we still want to retain the dignity of our indigenous language, English is not the true way out rather working towards making our indigenous language prominent because as things are going now, by the next century there might not be any recognition of indigenous language, the best thing that could happen it to be part of history.
We should not forget that those people we borrowed the language from are now hastening to learn ours because they could see the uniqueness!