Language is not just a medium of communication but also a means of identification. Without language, there is no identity. Language also refers to the cognitive faculty that enables humans to learn and use systems of complex communication not excluding other minds for a similar purpose. In summation, Language is the symbio-genesis catalyst of nationalism. Some of the languages that were spoken in the past by Nigerians have gone into extinction and more are in danger of following such trend.
Statistics has it that Nine (9) out of the five hundred and twenty-one (521) indigenous languages in Nigeria, have gone into extinction, two are second languages (pidgin and English language), leaving us with five hundred and ten (510) existing indigenous languages an evolution symbiont for the over four thousand (4,000) dialects in Nigeria.
It is a fact of scholarship that Nigerian indigenous languages are offered as a course of study by foreign linguistics researchers: thereafter, have accurate statistics in the etymology of the grammar and phonology of our indigenous languages.
We may, in the nearest future, or probably, we can say it is being gradually introduced to us as another imported institutional syllabus. This is cancerous because another geometrical progression irony is about to be enlisted to this balanced trend of antecedents arithmetic equation of:
Exploration X Exportation = Importation:
in that our exported persons/Peoplehood, Monuments, Arts; crafts/music /dance/costumes and Natural Resources which are now being highly priced and paid for by Nigeria and Nigerians as imported finished products. This will further enhance or rather seal the looming abolishment of our identity (LANGUAGE) the grandeur of respect to Nigeria’s cultural heritage, and our historical achievement as the giant of Africa. We need to herald a disclaimer to the; “continuous adoption of children when we have the womb that bears the adopted children”.
The present Nigerian National Anthem was adopted in 1978, and replaced Nigeria, We Hail Thee. The lyrics are a combination of words and phrases taken from five of the best entries in a national contest by: John A. Ilechukwu, Eme Etim Akpan, B. A. Ogunnaike, Sota Omoigui and P.O. Aderibighe, and the words were put to music by the Nigerian Police Band under the directorship of Benedict. E. Odiase
As defined, “a national anthem (also national hymn, song etc.) is a generally patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation’s government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people”.
On the reverse, the Nigerian National Anthem performed in most official functions, schools, sports, religious and social functions have been bastardized due to no access, poor or no understanding of English language which logically is not our mother tongue. Nigerians adopted the English Language as the official Language based on the influence of the British Colonialists. The Language has been used as a pedagogic practice in Nigeria for over five decades, which is greatly appreciated.
But the new phase of events (democracy amidst developing phase) demands that we adopt a complementing approach in teaching and learning in Nigerian Schools and the society at large; as change is the only constant parable, the remedy to the surging violence and cry of peace from many Nigerians.
To co-opt Nigerian indigenous languages into instructional materials in Nigerian institution; Asian Continent like China and Japan which are referred to as “the Asian Tigress” were able to develop technologically because they co-opted their language into the educational system of their country regardless of external influence.
HIYA NIGERIA RESOLUTION
As a panacea, the Nigerian national anthem and the pledge are translated to over 20 (twenty) Nigerian indigenous language (a book and CD) in the linguist standard and more translations to be done with the availability of standard grammatical structure. The genuine citizenry is a process obtainable through direct communication in a known language. This is achievable when communication is diversified to the lowest level using the dynamism of our indigenous languages.
To harness and indoctrinate respect for the Nigerian National Anthem and other national literature in Nigerian Indigenous Languages into citizens as it is done in the western world, to rebirth genuine patriots in spite of our multicultural society. Using the translated national anthem and the pledge on a Radio/Television phone-in program “HIYA NIGERIA” which is a module to refresh the ignored study of Nigerian history and values to develop and restore our Nigerian languages other cultural heritage and values.
- It is therefore proposed that this instructional material which has been transmitted into Nigerian indigenous languages; is officially adopted so that the students can be schooled with the knowledge of Nigerian Culture and indigenous languages from kindergarten to university level.
- Community sensitization in the grassroots is to be observed and monitored. In order to assuage the surging violent situation, adoption of the translated version of the National anthem, the pledge and the constitution in various Nigerian languages are a bedrock for the restoration of the grandeur of Nigeria’s cultural heritage and communal union of oneness. Language is an instrument of communication that has been used negatively can also be converted to be used positively.
- Demystify the superiority of English language and nourish the neglect of our identity which is our indigenous languages, history and cultural heritage in the present Nigerian Education and the society at large.
- Make available national information like the constitution, rules, laws and national symbols into Nigerian Indigenous Languages to the citizenry of about 75% of the national populace at the grassroots also, the aged who do not speak or understand the English language.
- To in cooperate “HIYA MASTER APP”; a module built to restore the lost moral basics, history of the people, and fundamental cultural values of communal living, as a complementing approach in teaching and learning in Nigerian primary and Secondary Schools.
- To unveil the serious commitment vows in the words of a patriot embedded in the lyrics of the National Anthem and The Pledge in other to make everyone express the nation’s clarion call with an understanding, in Nigerian indigenous languages.
- Integrate the group of Nigerian youths that have acquired different skills, or naturally talented as artisans in various craft with creative ability, but are limited due to their inability to communicate this skills literarily and to express this in the English language. This is practised in countries like Japan and China where the non-speaking English artisans (expatriates) are employed here in Nigeria, but they make use of their own English literates in communication.
- Imbibe in the younger generation a culture of patriots and to appreciate and identify with their indigenous Heritage; Holistic target to unite our present generation, as one community (enculturation); though complex in diverse languages and culture but, simple in etymology (multicultural society): an indivisible compound
SHORT AND LONG RUN OPERATION
(A) It should be noted that the project is both short and long-term research work that will definitely interest Tourist attraction, Research and foreign investment program Scheme. The first brick is the primary basis of harnessing weekly the importance of the allegiance pledged to the country, a conscious recitation of the National Anthem and the Pledge, in relation with other national symbols (activity outline 5, 6, and 7).
(B) In the course of the project, orthographies of languages/dialects research will be carried out to Incorporate the remaining undeveloped languages and dialects to publish; ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE NIGERIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM AND THE PLEDGE / OTHER NATIONAL SYMBOLS IN NIGERIAN INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES.
(C) The final research stage will be the NIGERIAN INDIGENOUS DICTIONARY OF VOCABULARY, an insight into the advanced stage of the project. Our operational scheme is built around the ministry and agencies with the mandate of this project.
(D) INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE ACADEMY to train students in relevant professional courses like law, engineering, medicine, architecture, mass communication, etc, in relation to the use of professional indigenous language registers.
``THE PRESENT``: THE LINK BETWEEN THE PAST AND THE FUTURE
To salvage the looming danger of extinction of our natural and indigenous languages in the next few decades, we have also created a scheme that will help this present generation to be schooled in conscious patriotism and service to the nation using NNAPNIL to indoctrinate primary and secondary school pupils/students. Teaching them basics of the National Anthem and the Pledge as a clarion call, prayer, and allegiance alongside our cultural heritage, morals, and the fundamental principles of respects for the culture of others.
To build patriotic and communal loving citizens at an early age, before they proceed to tertiary institutions as scholars bearing in mind the interest of the nation with an enthusiastic rhetorical phrase; HOW CAN I SERVE MY COUNTRY? This will be a collaboration of all the team players.
WHAT YOU STAND TO GAIN AS A VOLUNTEER/STAKEHOLDER
- Quick Buy Mobile App
- Entrepreneurship and Skills development
- Job Creation
- Revenue Generation
This project does not negate nationalism; rather it is to complement and foster efforts towards communal living and capacity building; the missing link.