No fewer than 55 officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Enugu State Command, have graduated from Nigeria Indigenous Language Programme of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO).
The officers were given two-month intensive lessons on the three major Nigerian indigenous languages, which included Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa.
Declaring the language course closed in NSCDC Enugu command headquarters on Friday, Mr Mohammed Yahuza, Executive Secretary of NICO, said that the ability of security personal to fluently communicate in many indigenous languages would boost the fight against insecurity.
Yahuza, who was represented by Mr Nnaemeka Nwajagu, Head of NICO Enugu Office, said that getting indigenous language knowledge would encourage information and intelligence sharing between security personnel and members of the public.
“I appreciate the civil defence for such a cooperation to boost the capacity of its officers and men to understand and interact in many Nigerian languages especially the major ones.
“I commend the officers and men that participated in the intensive language course for their seriousness, dedication and hunger to learn more.
“It is clear that indigenous languages are vital in modern security of a vast nation like ours and to create that closeness required by security personnel to interact freely among the people of various localities of the country,’’ he said.
Earlier, Mr Valentine Afrika, Commandant of NSCDC Enugu State Command, said that without adequate understanding and interaction with the locals, providing security for them becomes “difficult and near impossible’’.
Afrika also noted that it had become imperative due to issues of transfer of officers as demanded by the NSCDC’s job that each officer must have the knowledge of indigenous languages handy.
“Our job is basically information and intelligence gathering, done by knowing the people’s indigenous language that will usher you into their cultural practices, which one must respect to work in harmony with them.
“I must thank the executive secretary and NSCDC Commandant-General for giving this command this rare privilege to learn our indigenous languages and interact better with members of the public, gain their trust and cooperation,’’ he said.
One of the beneficiaries of the language course, SP Emilia Igwebueze, said that the course had exposed her to Hausa language and its rich culture while serving in Igbo predominantly speaking area.
Another officer, DSP Lillian Adah, said that learning Igbo language had given her the latitude to interact more freely with the locals within Enugu State and appreciate their culture the more.