Minister Adamu Adamu should be commended for the new education policy of use of national languages as the mode of instruction in primary schools in each nation in Nigeria. I otherwise concur with Dr. Amuta’s criticism of Minister Adamu in other respects.
I think that Dr. Chidi Amuta is mistaken in his take on the issue of lingua franca in Nigeria, mainly because in my opinion, he viewed the subject matter from the wrong lenses both from the historical and universal human rights perspectives.
Unitary One Nigeria, simply described, is Anglo-Fulani Caliphate Colonialism.
The use of the English Language as a lingua franca in Nigeria is the greatest tragedy that has befallen the indigenous nations of Nigeria. Unless reversed, It spells the eventual “death” of these nations and their eventual “anglicisation” and assimilation into English people.
The Igbo Nation alone has arguably a 75-million-strong population. The same as the Yoruba Nation. Other big nations in Nigeria include the Hausa, Ijaw, Berom, Igala, Efik, Idoma, Tiv, Ibibio, Kanuri, etc.
These nations are larger in population and landmass than many member nations of the United Nations, including many members of the EU, all of which use their national languages as their lingua franca.
The Igbo Nation as well as the Yoruba Nation for example, with a 75-million-strong population each, rank at about 8th or 9th most populous nations in the World when compared against the populations of independent nation members of the United Nations. In terms of land mass, both the Igbo and Yoruba Nations rank larger in size than more than 100 independent nation members of the United Nations.
Every nation has a right to use of its national language as lingua franca. It flows from the right of all nations and peoples to self-determination. Language and culture of peoples and nations is an integral, if not the most important part of Self-Determination.
It is not just big nations like China or Japan that use their national language as lingua franca, but all Asian nations proudly use their national language as lingua franca.
In Europe, nations big and small jealously use their national languages as lingua franca in their nations.
So, why should the likes of the Igbo Nation and Yoruba Nation or any of the other nations in Nigeria be forced to use the English Language as lingua franca when they have their own national languages?
Prior to the advent of Unitary One Nigeria on 27 May 1967 and its successful enforcement at the end of the Biafra War on 15 January 1970, all nations in the then Regions of Nigeria used their national language as a mode of instruction in primary schools at least. Whether it was in Calabar, Yenego, Aba, Ogoja, or Nsuka, the local indigenous languages were used as a mode of instruction in primary schools. At that time each Sovereign Region had control of its own education sector.
Had the misfortune of Anglo-Fulani Caliphate Colonialism of Unitary One Nigeria not befallen the indigenous nations of Nigeria, the use of national indigenous languages in each nation of Nigeria as the language of instruction in education, would have progressed to include use in Secondary schools, tertiary institutions, and Universities.
It is the Unitary Government of Nigeria (UGN) takeover of the education sector from the Regions/States that should attract criticism. In other climes, the education sector is left in State/Regional jurisdictions and the role of the central government is simply limited to the creation of uniform national standards!
As in all nations of the World, the Igbo child and scholar has a right to study in the Igbo Language from kindergarten through to University and up to PhD. Igbo language should be the lingua franca in Igboland, a nation of 75 million people!
Yoruba should be the lingua franca in Yorubaland just like the lingua franca in Hausaland should be Hausa Language, Ijaw language in Ijawland, Tivi in Tivland, Efik in Efik, Igala in Igalaland, Berom in Berom, Gwari in Gwari, Ibibio in Ibibioland etc.
In the EU, nations great and small, with many less in population and land mass compared with say the Ijaw Nation, all use their national language as lingua franca.
The EU has not become a forum of babel nor has the United Nations become a house of babel by each of their member nations using their lingua franca in their transactions or communications. Each nation uses its own lingua franca as an official language of communication, and interpreter and translation facilities and services are provided to enable the understanding of speech by each national representative in their own language!
The solution to the artificially imposed lingua franca problem, like all other key problems in the Anglo-Fulani Caliphate Colony of Unitary One Nigeria, lies in the restoration of Freedom and Self-Determination to the indigenous nations of Nigeria.
These nations were free independent nations in all respects, who were all using their national languages as lingua franca for thousands and thousands of years before the British, the Fulani, the Arabs, and the French came along to colonize them. In those thousands of years of Freedom and Independence, the area was not a “Babel”. The nations and their citizens learned to understand the language of each other and successfully used interpreter and translator services when required.
God created these nations and gave them their languages. Above all, Self-Determination is a basic right of all nations and peoples of the World, and chief among that right of Self-Determination of nations is the right to use one’s language and culture. It is not only Colonialism but a crime against humanity (apartheid) to deny a people or nation the right to use their own national language and to impose upon them the English Language as lingua franca. It amounts to exterminating or disappearing an entire people or nation over time.
Minister Adamu Adamu has taken the right step in the right direction by reintroducing the use of local national languages as the mode of instruction in primary schools in each nation of Nigeria. That policy has not gone far enough and should be extended in time to include Secondary Schools, Tertiary institutions, and Universities in each nation in Nigeria.
In the end, the Freedom and Self-Determination of all indigenous nations in Nigeria including the Igbo Nation must be restored to their pre-colonial independent nation status.
The Igbo Language must be restored as the lingua franca of an independent Igbo Nation within the Biafra Confederation, and the Igbo Language shall take its rightful place amongst the comity of Nations in the UN, AU, ECOWAS and all multilateral international Fora as one of the most spoken languages of the World. The language of 75 million Igbo people cannot just be described as ‘mother tongue’ or ‘vernacular’ by the Colonist English or Fulani Caliphate and others who think like them. The Igbo Language is the lingua franca of the Igbo Nation.
Dr. Amuta looked at the matter of lingua franca from a distorted lens that failed to reflect far back enough or far forward enough into past and future histories respectively.