Make Yoruba language compulsory in South-West schools – Gani Adams

Akogun Banjo Ojo, Otunba Gani Adams and Oba Olanipekun

Yoruba language should be made compulsory in primary and secondary schools in South-Western Nigeria, the National Coordinator of Odua Peoples Congress, Gani Adams, has advocated.

Mr. Adams stated this while delivering a lecture titled ‘African Languages at the brink of Extinction: Yoruba as a case study,’ at the press week of the correspondents chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Ogun State Council, Abeokuta.

He argued that that would be the only way for the conservation of the Yoruba, the indigenous language of the people of the area.

He also asked higher institutions in the region, owned by state governments, to make Yoruba a compulsory requirement for candidates seeking admission.

“There is the need for government, parents, schools, policy makers, language planners and other stakeholders to put in place urgent measures that will arrest this unwelcome situation (of extinction),” he said.

Mr. Adams, who also promotes the Olokun Festival Foundation, noted that there was need to create cultural awareness to reposition the language so that an average Yoruba person would be proud of and identify with it.

He also stated the importance of targeting the younger generation in entrenching Yoruba culture and called on parents to revive “the tradition of storytelling to teach morals and cultural values; speak Yorùbá language to their children and encourage the children to do the same as well as regularly clothing them in traditional attires which must not follow the once a year syndrome but as part of their children’s wardrobe.”

He also charged Yoruba academics to endeavour to prepare their dissertations and inaugural speeches in Yoruba.

“It is ironical to see academics in Yorùbá language presenting papers in English; they should be encouraged to write their papers in Yorùbá language instead of English language to lend credence to what they are professing,” he said.

Mr. Adams also advocated the establishment of a Yorùbá academy which, he said, would encourage academic research in Yorùbá culture as well as encourage the translation of some science-oriented subjects into the language.

“It is disheartening to note that some universities in the Southwest of Nigeria do not have departments where Yorùbá language is studied. This should be looked into and addressed adequately,” he said.


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  • Proud Yoruba

    Excellent idea, Mr. Adams.. We should teach our children our language and culture, it is of great benefit. Even in England they give Yoruba O’ Levels. Please ensure they are written into law in all 6 SW states.

    • akintunde ijimere

      Did he deliver his lecture in Yoruba? Ile lati nko eso r’ode. Eni to fe daso fun ni oye k’awo ewu to wo sorun! Awon to fe ka lo ede tiwa, ede eleled ni nwon fi ngba wa nimoran! Bee Orile Ede ni Yoruba npe ile baba eni.
      I am tired of those advocating the use of an African language but they don’t ever utter their advocacy in the African language. We were taught in Yoruba in the Awolowo’s primary school of the sixties. That allowed us to even master English language effortlessly. the we get to secondary school and Yoruba is called “vernacular”, which is forbidden! Nigeria is not the only multi-ethnic nation in the world, but the only one in which local languages are forbidden in favour of the language of slave traders and colonialist. Even in some Yoruba homes, Yoruba is forbidden. You get to such homes you hear their little devils making ‘English’ noises, thinking it makes them intelligent. and the schizophrenic parents cannot avoid discussing with friends in Yoruba, the language that is forbidden to their children! Sad, the culture suicide that will ensure that their children will be enslaved again.

      • Your Biodun

        But let’s appreciate Gani’s excellent idea instead of criticizing his choice of language in suggesting this..I like the guy..He’s proven to be a true Yoruba son.It’s about time for the Yorubas dominate Nigeria again.We need all ammunitions at our disposals to achieve this;Our cherished Yoruba Language,culture,tradition,OPC and Afenefere etc..Am proudly Yoruba.

  • tuby NY

    The BEST ideal/point that I’ve heard from any public figure in the last 10/20years! Hope it can really be adopted in not only in yoruba land but all over the country yo. Does any of our so-called Ministers or commissioners of Education ever realized this or better yet.. the damage this bad inferior act is doing to this society!!?
    Does our ppl ever heard of the word “bilingual?.. and that it’s the future? Average Nigerian parents dislike speaking or teaching their children their local languages, mainly because they are all highly ill-informed and we bought 2much into foreign this and foreign THAT!!
    But these folks got it wrong yo! Most of my foreign friends (Europeans, Indians, Spanish and others) here in US speaks their countries languages in their various homes and with their kids. We need 2grow up in Africa and in Nigeria in particular yo..