THE General Secretary, Senior Staff Association of Communications, Transport and Corporations (SSACTC), Mr Chile Ekeke, has warned Nigerians not to allow their languages and cultures go into extinction.
Ekeke said this while speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He further warned that if this should happen, the parents, guardians and teachers should be held responsible.
The secretary specially pointed accusing finger at the Igbos, whom he said were fund of speaking English language to their wards even at home.
“I feel bad about it, I have had occasion to confront the younger ones about this issue, especially those who live in a place where they are surrounded by our own people.
“I find it difficult to believe that one could not speak his language within the confines of his home.
“I think the parents, government and the school system should take the blame because in our time, you don’t wake up in the morning to greet our father good morning.
“We greet in Igbo language and cultures are also observed,” he said.
Ekeke stressed, “in our time, we started reading Okeke tara ose oji, meaning, Okeke ate kola-nut pepper fruit.’’
“When we moved to the standard class, we read the Igbo pamphlet called Azu Ndu (Fresh fish) which was introductory to read in Igbo.
“We read all other standard texts for teaching Igbo language at O’ Levels within my first four years in the primary school.
“You can’t get such in this present time and it is one of the problems we have in this country, we decline to embrace our cultures and languages.
“Embracing our language and culture is what would lead us to technological growth.
He said that the school system and the parents must ensure that various languages were not lost in their respective regions.
“Personally, I think there is a need for a personal indoctrination of our people.
“We need to get people to talk about these things at all levels. I don’t see any problem in a child being bilingual.
“A child can learn the local language and English at the same time easily.
“It is left for us to ensure we enforce a lot of all these things. It is very disturbing when you see parents from the same tribe speaking English at home,” he said.
Ekeke, who went into the memory lane, said that in the past, as a young boy, he participated in the Sunday Schools, and masquerades during festivals, adding that all these were not happening again.
“In my place, you belong to the age grades and we mixed up with the Hausas, Yorubas and other tribes in Aba then and we learn each other’s culture.
“During Moslem festival then, the Hausas came to our mission schools, dancing with their drums and we were always excited to come out and join them.
“Nobody drove them away or made any trouble with them, despite being a Christian community.
“There was coexistence in Aba then to make everybody have a sense of belonging and share arts and cultures,” he said.