BY FIDELIS UGBOMEH, Lagos
The Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, has urged traditional rulers in South-western part of Nigeria to continue to protect the culture and tradition of people of the zone by constantly speaking the Yoruba language.
He stated this at the palace of the Olota of Otta, His Royal Majesty, Prof Adeyemi Obalanlege, where he was honoured with the traditional title of; “Jagunmolu Taiyese of Otta Awori kingdom”.
While thanking the Olota for the honour, Obasa commended the monarch for propagating Yoruba tradition, he said this had reflected in the way the monarch and Olota-in-council spoke ‘Yoruba’ language all through the event.
“Beyond your educational status, you still limited yourself to our own mother-tongue. I have been to many palaces and have always maintained that the royal fathers should always distinguish our culture before anyone and in any place.
“How do we do this? It is by using our mother-tongue to communicate with whosoever the visitor is, no matter the status and wherever he comes from. That is one of the sure ways we can propagate and preserve our custom and tradition,” he said
The Speaker noted that the need to preserve the language, custom and culture of the Yoruba race resulted in the decision of Lagos State House of Assembly to carry out plenary activities in native language on Thursdays.
He said the House reasoned that promoting the language during plenary would help more residents understand some of the laws that guide their daily activities.
“We have also agreed that all the laws passed by the House would now be translated into Yoruba for the benefit of those we are representing.
“When Christianity was introduced to Nigerians, their holy book was translated into Yoruba. The holy book of the Muslims has also been translated into Yoruba for more people to understand,” the Speaker said.
He urged parents to speak their languages at home adding that understanding one’s native language does not hinder one from being able to speak English fluently.