Ideological Dimensions of Language Wars and the Threat of State Failure: the Nigerian Perspespective

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 172
  • Published : November 5, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA, NSUKKA
THE DEPARTMENT OF LINGUISTICS, IGBO AND OTHER NIGERIAN LANGUAGES

REVIEW OF 5 PUBLISHED ARTICLES RELATEDTO SOCIO-LINGUISTIC

AN ASSIGNMENT
BY

NWIKWE, ONYEKACHI FLORA:2010/173689

SUBMITTED TO
DR. AGBEDO, CHRIS UCHENNA
IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE COURSE LIN 3 SOCIO-LINGUISTICS
MAY, 2012.

TITLE:IDEOLOGICAL DIMENSIONS OF LANGUAGE WARS AND THE THREAT OF STATE FAILURE: THE NIGERIAN PERSPESPECTIVE AUTHOR:CHRIS UCHENNA AGBEDO
PUBLISHER:JOLAN (10) 91-106. www.linguisticafrikana.com
Chris Uchenna Agbedo is a notable presence in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and particularly in the department of Linguistics, Igbo and other Nigerian languages owing to his distinct contributions in articles and book form on linguistics for language students and general readers alike. In his different books and articles, his preoccupation has been to explicate in a unique way, the relationship between language and other fields of study; language as a fundamental aspect of human life; and language as an indispensable factor for the continued existence of any speech community. ‘Ideological Dimensions of Language Wars…’ is an article which looks critically at the concept language problem in Nigeria – a multilingual state – as a result of the careless and selfish neglect of Nigerian languages by the seemingly unbreakable chain of corrupt leaders since and even before independence. Agbedo, in this article, also calls for a reassessment of the ‘mistake of 1914’ and ‘mere geographical expression’ ideologies and proffers solutions to this problem for the continued survival of the Nigerian nation. The language wars in Nigeria started before independence and have been on till date. It commenced when Sir Ahmadu Bello, the then spokesperson/leader of the northern region referred to Lord Lugard’s attempt at amalgamating the northern and southern protectorates in 1914 as ‘a mistake’ because he believed it was impossible for the different ethnic groups in Nigeria to come together as one nation. The Yorubas caught the bug and took on the ’mere geographic expression ideology’. These two ideologies marked the beginning of language wars in Nigeria and has continued to ‘feed the combustible embers in a manner that threatens the corporate existence of the Nigerian nation’. The author goes on to point out that if this problem is not carefully and attentively catered for, it may eventually lead Nigeria into its seemingly rightful positions among the numbers/countries who have been tagged ‘failed state’. The first step into divesting Nigeria of this ‘centrifugal trappings’ is to have a reform of the Nigerian political and public space which over the years have been unjustly and illegally over-populated by ‘recycled bandits and geriatric debauchees’ who call themselves leaders and have continually used their position to lead the country into ruin through their variegated corrupt practices. Secondly, the multilingual situation in Nigeria should be seen as the foundation that Nigeria needs to remount its almost destroyed and uprooted pillar which is needed to firmly hold Nigeria and Nigerians as one indivisible nation. In this article, Agbedo addressed serious issues in Nigeria as regards her political system which is bedeviled by corrupt leaders. His focus in this paper was on language wars and how our so-called leaders have continually fueled this problem by their evil and selfish interest in just enriching their pockets at the expense of the Nigerian people, pointing out the role of language in its diversity (multilingualism) as a means to this ugly end. It is however important to act promptly because the ‘mistake of 1914’ and ‘mere geographical expression’ ideologies have eaten deep into the system of every single Nigerian – even the very young ones and as they say, old habits die hard. It is of necessity that every Nigerian puts on his/her theatrical attire and religiously play their parts in...
tracking img