The speaker of the Lagos state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Mudashiru Obasa has said that the Nigerian Army should be commended for taking its strategies to the grassroots.
Obasa spoke in reaction to the order given to all army personnel in the country, to learn the three major languages – Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa.
The speaker, who has been an advocate of teaching Nigerian languages in schools, said the recent order shows that the Nigerian Army is passionate about ensuring internal peace and unity in the country.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman, confirmed the order recently in a statement, that gives its personnel one year to learn these languages. The statement said the order was part of the newly introduced Language Policy
The Army statement noted that the policy would foster espirit-de-corps and better communication with the populace to enhance information gathering, civil-military relations, increase understanding between the military when operating abroad and assist officers and soldiers to perform their duties professionally.
Speaker Obasa, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Political and Legislative Matters, Mufutau Egberongbe, said the Nigerian Army was at a steady pace in the battle to rid the country of criminal elements.
He said this was part of the reasons lawmakers in Lagos had always advocated for state policing.
“Our argument had often being that security officers should operate in areas where they understand the language, cultures and traditions of the people. It would not make much of a meaning to post Hausa men to Yoruba land when they have a very scanty knowledge of the place.
This was why we constantly advocated for state policing.
“We also recently resolved to have Yoruba language taught in all schools in Lagos. It is not a personal issue, there is the need to ensure that the language retains its importance in the country.
“Across the world, people are proud of their languages. They even teach with it in schools and solve major societal issues with it. We know English is our major language here, but we must keep indigenous ones from extinction.
“With introduction of the three major languages in the military, we are sure of a positive result in the fight against terrorism and other issues threatening our peace as a nation,” the speaker said.