By Bamidele Moses
A university don, Professor Folorunsho Abayomi Kizito has said that should the kidnapped Chibok girls understand and speak French Language, they could have gotten a way of escape from their captors.
Kizito who made the remarks while delivering the 8th in the series of inaugural lectures of Osun State University titled: Linguistic Universal: French and Yoruba Languages as Linguistic Twin Sister noted that because Nigeria is totally surrounded by French – speaking neighboring countries, Nigerians should embrace the dominant language of their neighbors.
While stressing that proficiency in French language is veritable strategy to combat terrorism for a nation like Nigeria that has most of its neighbouring countries speak the language, explained that if the abducted Chibok girls kidnapped by the dreaded Boko Haram sect speaks French Language, they could have gotten a way of escaped.
According to him, if the abducted Chibok girls kidnapped by the dreadful Boko Haram sect who were said to have been distributed to neighboring countries whose official language is French were to understand French, probably they could have gotten a way to escape.
Professor Kizito admonished Nigerians to see foreign languages, especially the most widely spoken ones like French, as a passport to their political and economic success in life saying that they should therefore not relent in their efforts in learning foreign languages at leisure so that in future, they may not say, “Had I known
Professor Kizito who lamented the lackadaisical attitude of Nigerians to their indigenous language expressed the fear that those languages will go into extinction if care is not taken.
Apart from making early child education to be learned in the mother tongue, the academician recommended that the dominant language being spoken in the area where universities are located in the country should be made a compulsory GNS course for all students.
Besides, he called for the establishment of indigenous language engineering centres in our higher institutions in the country as it is being done in UNIOSUN adding that part of the preoccupations of these centres should include generation and formulation of the indigenous meta-languages especially those that would capture the modern technological terminologies.
Still encouraging Nigerians to embrace French language, the language expert held that the knowledge of the language is of tremendous importance to
Nigeria as a country and to Nigerians as individuals because of its sociopolitical and economic advantage adding that to actually exploit the benefit of this language, there should be an attitudinal change on the part of the various governments and individuals toward the learning of the language
He admonished Government at all levels to encourage as many people as possible to learn one or more foreign languages, most especially,
French, because Nigeria’s economic or technological development and survival are tied to her competence in dealing with fellow countries whose socio-politico-economic models we share.
He urged Nigerians the federal not to wait till a time when proven knowledge of a foreign language becomes a mandatory pre-requisite for them to take advantage of international appointments before they wake up from their slumber.