Following the frightening decline in the use of Yoruba Language as a means of communication in Southwest, the Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Monisade Afuye has tasked state governments and traditional rulers in the zone to strive and prevent the language from sliding into extinction.
Mrs Afuye lamented how the modernity brought by Western education has gained traction and wider acceptability in the Southwest and eroded the Yoruba Language among the younger generation.
She described the situation as a dangerous trend that must be halted by stakeholders.
The Deputy Governor spoke at the palace of Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe, on Tuesday, during an award conferment on Eyesorun Abosede Adejugbe by Egbe Akomolede ati Asa Yobuba Worldwide, to commemorate the Yoruba Day 2023.
Mrs Afuye, in a statement by her Special Assistant Media, Victor Ogunje, on Monday, described the Yoruba Language as priceless and riddled with wisdom and knowledge that can equip people’s mental capacity, if well applied, saying such a language shouldn’t be allowed to die.
She bemoaned the gradual fading of the language as means of communication among the Yorubas and other nations that have historical affinities with the race under the facade of Western education, saying efforts must be intensified by stakeholders in the region to arrest the drift.
The Deputy Governor added that it would be a fatal mistake for stakeholders, particularly the government and traditional institutions, to watch helplessly and allow the language to go into oblivion as being gradually noticed.
She added that many countries of the world like Cuba, China, India and Japan, had fully adopted their languages as means of communication in schools, describing as erroneous and unfathomable, the widespread impression that local languages could reduce one’s intelligence, knowledge and brilliance.
She said; “Some of our students in schools would have done better in public examinations if they were taught with the Yoruba language the way it was done in countries like Cuba, China, India and other nations that are fast advancing economically. This is what we should emulate.
“We learnt that Egbe Akomolede Yoruba ati Asa was planning to sponsor a bill to promote the use of the language in teaching. I plead with the members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly to grant it expeditious passage anytime they bring the bill to the House.
“Let us respect our tradition and Culture. In Brazil today, those who brought our Ifa Oracle to that country are still celebrating it even when we are abandoning it here. This is not good for our future.
“Egbe Yoruba Akomolede is a reputable organisation that is working hard to promote our culture and societal values. We really salute your industry and contributions to the growth of the Yoruba nation.
“I want to advocate that government should allow all subjects to be taught in Yoruba language once a week at all levels of education. This will promote our culture and prevent the language from dying”.
The Chairman, Egbe Akomolede Yoruba, Mr. Muyiwa Akinrelere, said over 200 million population speak the Yoruba language globally, saying such a wide range of speakers can’t be underestimated and confirmed how illustrious the language had become worldwide.
“Yoruba is a front-runner among the languages in the world. It can’t be underrated at all. It was UNESCO in 1932 that said no language should be treated as superior to others, they are all the same. The Yoruba language is not inferior to any language, not even English Language.
“Records showed that over 600 languages in the world had gone into extinction and any environment where such happens will witness crises of multifaceted fashion and this should not be allowed to happen in the Yoruba nation.
“Our government and traditional rulers must take action. As a form of advice, the Ekiti State traditional rulers should be conducting their biweekly council meeting with the Yoruba Language to promote culture, custom and tradition in our dear state”, he said.
Ekiti: Don’t allow Yoruba language go extinct – Afuye to govs, traditional rulers