Kano state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has warned that unless parents establish a strong home language policy and make consistent efforts to help children to develop good literacy skills in Fulfulde, the language might be extinct in the nearest future.
“To reverse this process, we should make our children have a better grasp of the language.
It is through this they would be connected to their roots.
We should make them feel that conversing in Fulbe is a privilege instead of them taking pride in speaking other languages”, governor Ganduje asserted.
He warned the Fulbe not to allow their language to decline in relevance and usefulness, adding that efforts must be made to make Fulfulde measure up to other dominant Nigerian languages.
The governor made the assertion in a keynote address at the International Conference on Fulbe Language organized by Center for Research in Nigerian Languages and Folklore, Bayero University, Kano.
“Let us preserve our culture though promoting the use of our mother tongue in all aspects of our daily activities at the personal, group and governmental levels”, the governor emphasized.
Dr. Ganduje cautioned that Fulbe, a language spoken by over 20 million indigenous populations in 19 countries of Africa is being diluted, so is their culture, not only by major African languages but also by English and French, pointing out that efforts must be geared towards preserving their cultural identity.
The chairman of the occasion, Prof. Ibrahim Ahmad Mukoshy said Fulfude is one of the African languages with more than nine centuries of literacy and one of the approved languages of instructing from primary school level in about 18 countries, including Nigeria.
He, therefore, implored the Center for Research in Nigerian Languages and Folklore, Bayero University, Kano, to revive the Fulfulde Language Board to facilitate the Fulfulde meta-language, production of written literature and coinage of technical terms to face the challenges of technology and globalization.