Yoruba youths honour NSE chairperson, urge preservation of indigenous languages

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L-R: Mr Obasa Taofik, State Coordinator, Yoruba Youth Assembly (YYA), Mr Tunde Oladeinde, YYA , Mr Olarinde Thomas, Chairman Ikeja Branch, Nigerian Society of Engineers, Mrs Funmi Akingbagbohun and Mr Olalerun Folorunsho, Public Relations of YYA during presentation of award at NSE Ikeja secretariat on Saturday in

By Grace Alegba

– The Yoruba Youth Assembly (YYA), an umbrella body of Yoruba youth groups globally, on Saturday called for protection and preservation of the nation’s indigenous languages, heritage and cultural identities.

The group also called for the implementation of local content in order to build capacity of local engineers to secure contracts and capital flight for speedy technological advancement of Nigeria.

The group made the call while presenting an award to Ikeja Branch  Chairman of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Mrs Funmi Akingbagbohun, in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports Akingbagbohun was honoured with YYA Hall of Fame as its 2019 Yoruba Youth for her humanitarian services and societal development.

YYA , Olarinde Thomas, said the group’s 38 affiliates in Nigeria and diaspora honoured Akingbagbohun for making the Yoruba nation proud in engineering field.

“This award is meant to celebrate the achievements of our mother; she has tried a lot to manage this branch as a female engineer and her formidable effort as chairman of NSE, Ikeja Branch.

“We are here to represent the views of Yoruba youths both in Nigeria and diaspora. We need your ideas as a technocrat to be able to drive the agenda for development,’’ he said.

He said Akingbagbohun, is also National Vice of Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, had supervised several major projects in the country.

He called on all tiers of government to patronise local engineers to create jobs, capital flight and grow capacity of local engineers to tackle development in the nation.

He added NSE had the solution to pipeline vandalism because could use technology to trace activities on pipelines and solve most slowing down Nigeria’s growth.

He government to make study of their languages mandatory for nationals migrated to their countries.

“Why can’t we make study of  our language mandatory in tertiary institutions,’’ he queried.

Thomas said that many Yoruba globally could not speak the language properly and stressed the need to reverse the trend to preserve the cultural heritage.

The YYA president said that efforts by the group birthed the use of Yoruba language on the floor of the Lagos State House of Assembly, adding that similar efforts were ongoing in states.

He explained that Nigeria made technological progress in various sectors which included the media and construction above some developed economies when relied on indigenous languages.

Thomas commended efforts by some youth groups in other regions in the country, noting that such efforts should be sustained for preservation of cultural identities, languages and heritage in the nation.

He described the regional community policing introduced by South-West Governors, ‘Amotekun’ as an important initiative which should not be politicised but should be given support.

“Amotekun has come to stay to ensure the unity of Nigeria,” he said.

Also speaking, Olalerun Folorunsho, the group’s , called on parents to ensure spoke Yoruba and other local dialects.

“We are no longer teaching our our language, we celebrate English language but the English people celebrate and promote their own language,’’ he said.

Responding to her award, the NSE chairman praised the visionary leadership of YYA and prayed for the growth of the group for the progress and unity of the Yoruba nation and Nigeria.