His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife, has called for the promotion of Yoruba language and culture which he said must not be allowed to go into extinction.
The monarch, who was represented by Oba Dr. Adebisi Segun Layade JP, the Alara Odaaye of Ara Land Ife, Osun state, made the call at a public presentation and launch of a book about the life and times of the late sage, Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo.
He tasked traditional rulers to champion the promotion of Yoruba language, noting that “it is the only way our culture can also be preserved.”
He said, “Most of our people when they go outside the shores of our country they choose to speak English above the Yoruba language. I deliberately won’t speak in English as they would have preferred, we ought to promote our own language because in other cultures they use the mother tongues to teach their wards.”
Also supporting the stance, His Royal Highness Oba Oladipo Olaitan, The Alaago of Kajola Alaago, Osun state and deputy leader, Pan Yoruba Socio-Cultural Organisation, Afenifere maintained that Yoruba language must be preserved at all cost.
The Lagos state House of Assembly committee chairman on Information, Strategy and Security, Setonji David, who represented the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, also stressed the need for Yoruba language preservation.
“Everything that has to do with our language is so important to me as far as I’m concerned total freedom is guaranteed when you speak your language, any nation that is going to develop must revert back to its original language, it is easier for the Asian countries to communicate because of this. We need to get back the potency of Yoruba language,” he said.
The author of the book titled Awolowo Akikanju Asiwaju (AAA), Mr. Lagada- Abayomi Olanrewaju, in a chat with journalists said cited instances of many collections of prose works written by authors in other parts of the world, to celebrate unique personalities who had paid their dues and impacted their nation and the world positively.
“I feel the dearth of information about the great feats of our heroes in this part of the world and the void it is causing in our children’s social development, this drove me to write this book so as to engrave the memories of our forebear, late Chief Obafemi Awolowo in gold for yet to come generation,” he said.