WRITTEN BY AJOKPA-OGHENE OMO REPRODUCED BY OREGBE OMORODION
If an indigenous national language is developed in a nation, it will promote the development of the other languages of that nation for national and regional use. The developed indigenous national language usually stimulates “competition” for development among a nation’s languages, thereby increasing employment opportunities in the publishing industries of that nation. This is not what happens when leaders promote foreign languages in their independent nations to create the impression that the languages of their people are inferior. The rejection of your values reduces the desire of the indigenous languages of your nation to compete with the imposed foreign language. Universally, only Black leaders and our nations are reluctant to develop indigenous languages and other African values for national development after colonialism. The consequence of not doing much to improve your values is that, “HE, WHO IS AFRAID OF DOING TOO MUCH DOES TOO LITTLE TO AVOID FAILURE”.
When indigenous national and regional languages are approved for development by African legislators and executives (political leaders), they will be taught as compulsory subjects in all schools nationally and regionally. They are not meant to replace the other languages of a nation the way foreign languages do.
Black nations and people have lost global respect and dignity because, “A NATION THAT DOES NOT INVOLVE THE DEVELOPMENT Of HER VALUES IN NATION BUILDING IS A CULTURELESS NATION”. Meanwhile, people who are officially cultureless in national development like the leaders of Nigeria, are regarded by other humans as cheap and tacking self-esteem with resultant decline in human dignity and intelligence. Some steps in indigenous national language introduction, development and use are;
1) The indigenous and regional languages to be developed has to be chosen by the national assembly in collaboration with regional legislators and executive arms of governments respectively and taught only as “compulsory subjects” in schools. In addition, the chosen indigenous national language should be adopted as the official language of government institutions and learning in the educational sector. Black nations should also learn foreign languages as alternative language for international communication.
2) The official introduction of national and regional languages should begin from primary education or “primary one” of any chosen year. It is preparation for future sustainable development; hence, the current adult population must not be forced to apply it.
3) To promote the process of development political leaders in Nigeria can begin to frequently address our citizens with their “ethnic languages” along with translators in English language, to build patriotism in African citizens before the maturity of the chosen indigenous, national and regional languages,
4) Formal and informal schools should be established for adults who are interested in learning the approved national and regional languages, while volunteer teachers should be encouraged in localities internal migrants should encourage their children to speak the approved national and regional indigenous languages in regions where they reside because; their future development will depend on the home languages and not foreign languages.
5) National indigenous language will create employment nationally and Internationally for Nigerian translators; teachers; publishers; research institutes, international organizations and remedial schools, white foreign language will remain to create translators jobs. This is how to create “independent and dependent” employment and not only the “dependent” employment of foreign language that is stimulating permanent poverty in Black Africa. “IT IS NOT A WISE DECISION TO PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET”. All Black values are abandoned/while the basket of Black people contain only foreign languages without an alternative. It should be noted that, “the colonialists told Nigerians and other Black leaders at independence, to develop Nigerians out of Nigeria and Africans out of Africa.” Black leaders are hesitating because, “THE RUIN Of NATIONS BEGIN IN THE HOMES OF THEIR LEADERS”. Meanwhile, multiple ethnicities and languages are common in 99% of the countries of the modern world including the colonial countries of Europe, yet they are not dependent on foreign languages and values of other people for their development like Black leaders. Unfortunately, modern Black people believe that this new slavery referred to as cultural imperialism or mental slavery (slavery of the mind) in the Black race is not redeemable.
To disorientate, alienate and confuse the citizens of an independent nation or race, just withdraw her indigenous languages from her people and replace them with foreign languages. It is only the emergence of a philosophic leader that can save such people. “THE TRUTH IS THAT THE WORLD is LAID ASIDE TO LEADE THOSE WHO KNOW WHERE THEY ARE GOING”. The Black race is the only human race in this contemporary globalized world, which has no “direction” for modern development. This dependent approach to national development is forbidden by the leaders of other human races and nations of the current world. Black leaders refuse to be brave enough to use science and technology to officially develop African values after. African Ancestors have provided them education. They should know that, “CHARMS DO NOT PERFORM MIRACLES IN A SHELF; THEY PERFORM FOR THOSE WHO ARE BOLD AND BRAVE”. Indigenous languages developed by leaders are the super-structures on which national development, science and technology are based. This base is often disregarded by Black leaders in their quest to develop African nations into modernity. They should be aware that, “IF THE OWNER Of A CALABASH CALLS IT WORTHLESS. OTHERS WILL JOIN HIM TO USE IT TO PACK RUBBISH”. This is exactly what African leaders are doing with African people, cultures, values and languages. The entire world except the Black race is aware that foreign languages will not propel Black African to appreciate ourselves, nations and continent. The prevalent idleness and imitative leadership style of African politicians, with consequent poverty, corruption, incompetence and hatred for self-actualization are symptoms of Stack nations that are founded on everything foreign through negative advice.
However, :IT IS ONE WORD OF ADVICE THAT ONE NEEDS TO GIVE TO A WISE MAN, AND THAT ONE WORD KEEPS MULTIPLYING IN HIS MIND”.
It is necessary for Black leaders to rise up from their sleep and know that “laziness and persistent steep are not cousins of a good harvest”. Meanwhile, “another Black Africa” is possible and gradually emerging. That .Africa will accept African identity along with science and technology for sustainable development, because “A FISH THAT CAN SEE THAT THE WATER is GETTING SHALLOW CANNOT BE STRANDED”. Black leaders are behaving like the ignorant stranded fish in shallow water. Some of the consequences of our refusal to develop African values with modernity are, lack of industrialization, poverty, ignorance, inferiority, subordination, subservience, unemployment, economic retrogression and infrastructural disintegration. Knowing these multiple disadvantages, it is wrong for us to remain blind and deaf to our problems because, “A MAN WHO IS TRAMPLED TO DEATH BY AN ELEPHANT IS A MAN WHO IS BUND AND DEAF. The negative effect of continuing with the same approach by Black leaders is persistent decadence that will spread to all Black people. It is well known that, “when the root of a tree begins to decay, it spreads death to its branches”, The industrial and scientific development of African values including languages is the moon that wilt illuminate African economic growth and not the foreign values our leaders have forced on our citizens because, “THE SKY IS FULL OF STARS BUT THEY CAN NEVER OUT SHINE THE MOON.
Conclusion – A “u-turn” is necessary, to re-orientate Black Africans out of what we currently know. Dependence on foreign language have confused and disorientated Nigerian citizens. This has resulted in the emergence of Black nations that are characterized by brigandage, gigantic lies, tragic travesty and epic catastrophe, to the extent that our leaders can no longer distinguish between what are wrong and right policies in governance. Nigerian leaders bereft of political imagination have resorted to bullying our citizens. However, “WHERE WISDOM IS CALLED FOR, FORCE IS OF LITTLE USE”. Bullying by African leaders will not prevent revolt against them. If a nation or race fails to acknowledge her identities, values and ideologies for scientific improvement after her citizens have been developed educationally, modern development is hard to practice among such people because, “the value you place on humans is the value you get from them”. By relying permanently on .foreigners, Black leaders have placed linen-human” values on Black people. African leaders definitely tack vision. Meanwhile, “IF YOU DON’T HAVE A VISION, YOUR REALITY WILL BE DETERMINED BY OTHER PEOPLE’S PERCEPTION”. The leaders of other colonized nations in Europe, Asia, Middle East etc, that have similar and higher multi-ethnic and linguistic diversity than Nigeria had better perception of modernity and consequently relegated colonial languages and values to second or alternative languages and ideologies in their nations.
Comrade Oregbe Omorodion is a union leader and human rights activist.