An APC chieftain in Benue, Dr. Joseph Orkar, has urged the government to encourage the teaching of indigenous languages in schools, to prevent them from going extinct.
Orkar, a former commissioner in the state and current National Vice Chairman of the APC, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Makurdi, that languages are the carriers oåf culture and need preservation.
According to him, without indigenous languages, our culture will perish; so, we need to make conscious efforts to preserve them.
He observed that most languages in the country were endangered and at the verge of extinction.
He suggested their inclusion in the schools’ curriculum so that such languages would be taught in schools.
He, however, admitted that some of indigenous languages had more developed orthography than others.
Orkar, who is an accountant by profession, said God gave him the inspiration to write books in vernacular during his incarceration by the military in 1985.
The author, who claimed to have written 30 books, said his intention was to boost the Tiv orthography to a level comparable with other native languages in the country.
He said the indigenous language book society had recommended the teaching of Tiv, Idoma and Igede languages in primary and secondary schools in the state since 2011.
He, however, expressed regret that seven years after the recommendation was made, the government had yet to implement it.
He recalled the “near absence” of published materials on the subject matter at the time of his research, which made him to rely on oral sources for the compilation of the orthography.
The author said the paucity of documented literature did not deter him, as he, together with other scholars, had developed the orthography to cover 500 words.
The former commissioner expressed optimism that with such a background in orthography, books could be written to cover all subjects, including mathematics.
He also advised parents to start teaching their children their native languages at home in order to preserve such languages.
Orkar warned that without such efforts, most endangered languages, would become extinct.

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