Languages in Nigeria

The Nasarawa State Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Dogo Shammah, has advised parents to save local dialects from extinction by forcing children to learn them through constant usage.

Shammah made the call on Sunday in Lafia at a meeting with a team of volunteers assisting in organising the state’s cultural festival scheduled to hold next month.

According to Shammah, the call became imperative given the attitudes of modern day parents who are ashamed of speaking their local dialects.

“The only way to preserve our languages is by speaking it to the new generation.

“If we do not teach our children how to speak our languages, it will soon disappear and in no distant time nothing will be known about it again.

“Our parents preserved and passed the languages to us, therefore, we have a duty to also preserve and pass it to the next generation,” he said.

Shammah condemned the attitude of some parents who preferred to speak foreign languages to their children instead of their indigenous language.

He admonished parents to change their attitude towards their local dialect, adding that the ministry would promote other aspects of the rich cultural heritage of the diverse people in the state through cultural festival.

Shammah called on ethnic groups to avail themselves of the cultural festival slated to hold from Dec. 28 2019 to Jan. 1, 2020, to showcase their culture to the outside world.

Earlier, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Bello Akwanga, leader of the volunteers, had said that the purpose of the visit was to congratulate Shammah and brief him on the progress of their activities.

He explained that the group, made up of lecturers and other experts in culture, had volunteered to organise a cultural festival as part of efforts to support government.