As important as language is in the existence of man, so it has its attendant issues since human beings exist in numerous linguistic and ethnic groups, the languages of larger groups overriding those of smaller groups for varied reasons. Countries of the world especially in Africa are made up of divergent linguistic and ethnic groups. Most of these multilingual countries have adopted the languages of their colonial masters as official languages. Policies across multilingual African countries have adverse effects on indigenous languages. In Nigeria, the adoption of English as the official language has created lack of interest in the country’s over 400 indigenous languages especially the so-called minority languages. Igala, one of the relegated languages needs to be maintained for group identity, interaction, transmission of culture and values, exploration and exploitation of the environment of the Igala people. A majority language in Kogi State, North Central, Nigeria. It is also spoken in other neighbouring States of Kogi. The mother tongue instruction of the National Policy on Education is considered among other recommendations as one way of ensuring the maintenance of Igala.
THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE, ETHNO-RELIGIOUS PLURALISM AND THE CHALLENGE OF NATIONAL UNITY IN NIGERIA (Published)
This paper highlighted the ethno-religious pluralism and the attendant rivalry and violent conflicts in Nigeria. It also critically analyzed the proposed National Conference (NC) in the light of its potentials in reducing the age-long ethno-religious resentments and sectarian violence that have been tearing the country apart. Although the authors condemned the unilateral and arbitrary amalgamation of January 1st 1914, they believe that a genuine National Conference can solve and undo the mistakes of the past. Using a historical phenomenological approach, it was found that a genuine national conference or dialogue is an inevitable solution to the threat of disintegration in Nigeria