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Insecurity: NICO says understanding of indigenous languages will promote intelligence gathering

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The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) says understanding of indigenous language will promote intelligence gathering among military and para-military personnel to stem the tide of insecurity.

The Executive Secretary of NICO, Mr Muhammed Yahuza, said this on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) for officers and marshals of the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) in Enugu State.

Yahuza said that language is a unique factor, adding that the importance of indigenous languages to national development cannot be overemphasised.

According to him, apart from being a strategic vehicle for the promotion and transmission of culture, it is also vitally important in fostering national identity, national consciousness and integration.

“The language in the barracks has the added benefit of being an invaluable tool for effective intelligence and information gathering by officers and men of military and para-military agencies which is critically needed especially now that our nation is grappling with serious security challenges.

“At this juncture, I wish to assure the Corps Marshal, his management team, staff of the FRSC and our esteemed participants that the programme has been carefully packaged to achieve its objectives.

“We have assembled qualified and experienced resource persons who will discharge their responsibilities professionally,” he said.

The executive secretary thanked the immediate past FRSC Zonal Commanding Officer, Mr Francis Udoma and the present Zonal Commanding Officer, Mr Emmanuel Obot and his management team for their invaluable support and collaboration with the institute in the discharge of its statutory responsibility.

Earlier, Obot, represented by Mr Matthew Egbe, Deputy Corps Commander, said that FRSC at the moment needed staff that are grounded in indigenous languages “that is why our public enlightenment of road users are domesticated into indigenous languages for easy understanding”.

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“The Nigerian Highway Code too is being domesticated to show the level of acceptance of the Nigerian indigenous languages as tools for national development.

“I plead with the participants of these tutorials to take everything about the programme seriously and at the end use what is learnt for the development of the Corps and Nigeria as a whole,” he said.

The Chairman of the occasion, Dr Edward Okolo, noted that anyone without a language had lost his or her unique identity and would be greatly influenced by other people’s ways of life.

Okolo, who is the Executive Secretary of Enugu State Council of Arts and Culture, said: “I urge all Nigerians to strive to know their indigenous languages as well as learn other indigenous languages of people around him or her.

“By doing this, we are consciously promoting understanding, unity and bonding of the citizens of this great nation.”

In a goodwill message, the Curator in-charge National Museum of Unity, Enugu, Mr Alloysius Duru, lauded NICO for such a programme to reawaken indigenous languages among Nigerians and for them to reap the enormous benefits.

“We need greater integration among ourselves as Nigerians and it is only by the vehicle of indigenous languages learning, understanding and speaking we can achieve this easily,” Duru said.

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