Bashorun Askia Warns Local Languages Are Going Extinct

*Bashorun Askia Ogieh
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By Sunny Areh

The managing director of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Bashorun Askia Ogieh, has expressed concern over the decline in the status of local languages, warning that many of them are rapidly going extinct.

Speaking at the maiden matriculation of Niger Delta University, Irri campus weekend, Askia said Isoko language is one of such languages and sought the intervention of stakeholders to save the language.

Calling for the inclusion of Isoko language in the Niger Delta University’s Linguistics Department, he said this will help sustain indigenous languages.

“I call on our sons and daughters who are well positioned to come on board to sponsor programmes and projects in this citadel of learning that is poised to shape the character and scholarship of our children”, the DESOPADEC boss who was chairman at the matriculation ceremony stated.

He has already set the ball rolling by sponsoring the publication of Isoko books for primary and secondary schools from Junior Secondary to Senior Secondary which have been approved for study by the Delta State Ministry of Education, and by encouraging Isoko Language teachers in primary and secondary schools through paying them stipends.

To the matriculating students, Bashorun reminded them that education comes before wealth. “You are privileged today to have been admitted to this prestigious institution. Your focus should therefore be strictly on your education. To achieve educational success, you must strive to shun all forms of social vices”, he said.

He told the students to be part of the conversation on Nigeria’s new structure as “one of the prime reasons for the stunted growth in Nigeria is the disjointed nature of our federation which has stifled the potential of states to be more creative and entrepreneurial in harnessing their resources.

“You must take interest in how our country is run and be part of the dialogue towards building a more perfect federation that provides the ambience for the younger generation to actualise their dream,” he said.

He urged them to begin their political education by using the window recently opened by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under its Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) to register to vote.

Warning the students to shun drug use, Askia advised that they should not “use Internet access for criminal activities that could truncate your education prematurely. Betting is addictive, please don’t use the little money your parents are able to give you on betting games. It can ruin your education.”

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