Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
Citizens of Yoruba speaking states in Nigeria living in the Diasporas under the aegis of Egbe Omo Yoruba of North America has called on the government of the Yoruba speaking states in Nigeria not to allow Yoruba Language go into extinction, but encourage its speaking and possibly conduct government affairs in the language.
The President of the group, Agbaaking Bolu Omodele, made the appeal when the group paid a courtesy call on the Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Dr. Kolapo Olusola, in his office in Ado-Ekiti.
The President of the Egbe Omo Yoruba in the Northern America, comprising the United States, Canada and Mexico, said that the group was in the country to raise their observations concerning the Yoruba language and to meet with government of the Yoruba speaking states to express the group’s readiness to partner with them to advance rapid cultural and socio-economic transformation.
Chief Omodele proffered that Yoruba Language be recognised and used as the government official language and be used as such, even in conducting sessions in the House of Assemblies in Yoruba speaking states, noting that doing so would not only give more credence to the language but also bring governance to the door steps of the majority of the people.
He observed that it was only the Yoruba tribe who mostly preferred to speak English Language to their children all the time instead of the dialect, unlike the Hausas and the Ibos who still ensured that their children are still fluent and proficient in their dialects, including those living in America.
Chief Omodele said the Egbe Omo Yoruba in the Northern America would want to partner with the government of Governor Ayodele Fayose in the area of small and medium scale entrepreneurs, agriculture,
educational development, as well as collaborating with the government at completing some of the abandoned projects which littered the state.
He said the group would require a large expanse of land to enable it embark on cultivation of arable crops which would make the state self sufficient in food production and also for growing cash crops to boost export trade and establishment of small and medium scale industries and businesses.
The President of the Egbe Omo Yoruba, who is an indigene of Ikoro-Ekiti, appealed to the state government to prevail on other Ekiti indigenes living in the Northern America who are yet to be part of the group to do so, to make the body more formidable and buoyant to execute more developmental projects in Yoruba speaking states of the country.
The group later presented copies of branded exercise books designed for some primary schools in Ekiti State as part of their support for the education transformation agenda of Governor Ayodele Fayose with a promise to still give more support that would restore the glory of education in Ekiti.
In his response, the Deputy Governor, Dr Olusola commended the group for forming a focus-driven body whose main agenda is to ensure solid cultural and economic development of the Yoruba nation.
He noted that their visit to the state was very timely particularly now that the Yoruba speaking states were already getting agitated on how to restore the dwindling cultural values of oneness and trust which was drawing the frontline Yoruba race backward from its pacesetting roles among the ethnic groups in Nigeria.
The Deputy Governor also said that the current financial position of the country, and by extension, Ekiti State, calls for aggressive revenue drive towards boosting the internally-generated revenue (IGR) of the state for a stable and sustainable economic development of the people also made the visit appropriate.
He explained that the governor, Dr. Fayose, is truly concerned about developing the economy of the state and would therefore do everything within the ambit of the law to woe and collaborate with investors, corporate organisations and philanthropic individuals to promote the desired development.
The Deputy Governor who assured the visitors that their requests would be given adequate consideration with a view to involving them in the development of the state, added that Ekiti State Government would not hesitate to provide enabling environment for public private partnership and participation for rapid economic development of the state.