The Speaker of the Lagos state House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, has commended the Nigerian Army on its directive to its personnel to learn the country’s three major indigenous languages — Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa.
Obasa, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Political and Legislative Matters, Mr Mufutau Egberongbe on Saturday, said the directive showed that the army was passionate about ensuring internal peace and unity in the country.
“Our argument has often been that security officers should operate in areas where they understand the language, cultures and traditions of the people,” he said.
The speaker said that was one of the reasons why the lawmakers had constantly advocated for state policing.
“We also recently resolved to have the Yoruba language taught in all schools in Lagos.
“It is not a personal issue; there is the need to ensure that the language retains its importance in the country.
“Across the world, people are proud of their languages. They even teach with it in schools and solve major societal issues with it.
“We know English is our major language here, but we must keep indigenous ones from extinction.
“With the introduction of the three major languages in the military, we are sure of a positive result in the fight against terrorism and other issues threatening our peace as a nation,” Obasa said.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman, in a statement, had said that the army expected its personnel to learn the languages within the next one year.
He said the directive was in line with a new language policy of the army.
According to him, the policy will, among others, foster esprit-de-corps and better communication with the populace to enhance information gathering and civil-military relations.