Gyang Bere, Jos
The Conference of Auchthonous Ethnic Nationalities Community Development Association (CONAECDA) in Nigeria said the prevailing security challenges in the nation constitute serious threats to the existence of minority ethnic languages in the country.
The National Coordinator, Dr. Zuwaghu Bonat disclosed this at the end of the inauguration of the 19 Northern States chapters of Conference of Auchthonous Ethnic Nationalities Community Development Association (CONAECDA) and 2019 United Nation’s Year for Indigenous Languages, held in Jos, Plateau State.
He lamented that the minority ethnic groups in the country, particularly in Northern Nigeria have been attacked and displaced from their original communities, with some gradually going into extinction.
“The current security challenges in the country constitute a serious threat to the existence of minority ethnic languages in the country, particularly the North where communities have been displaced and their lands invaded by foreigners.
“The position of CONAECDA is very clear, that nobody has the right to come and drive you away from your land, nobody has that right, they can come and stay and go but they cannot come and use force to drive you away.
“It is the responsibility of Federal and State Government to protect lives and properties and the properties includes the land that you occupy, you can’t build house on air, you need land to build your house.”
Bonat urged Federal Government to ensure that all occupied lands by Invaders should be taken and return to the original owners and those displaced should be resettle to promote peace and unity of the country.
A lecturer from the Department of Linguistics, University of Calabar, Prof. Bassey Okon, who led delegates from the South-South challenged parents to ensure that their children speaks their mother languages.
She lamented that foreign languages posed a serious threat on minority ethnic languages in Nigeria, hence urgent measures should be taken to stam the danger.
The State Chairperson of (CONAECDA) Benue State and Lecturer from the Department of Languages and Linguistics, Benue State University, Dr Christie Anyogo led delegates from the North Central while Zakaria Banzam, Secretary of CONAECDA Yobe State who led delegates from the North East all lamented that their communities are being terrorize by bandits, kidnappers and herdsmen who kill people in dozen.
National President of CONAECDA, Mr. Eric From who was represented by Prof. Aboy Madaki, said minority ethnic groups have suffered attacks by suspected assailants who are currently occupying their lands.
Prof. Madaki, who is the Vice Chairman CONAECDA, North Central said their people have been attacked and killed in the night by unknown people but wake up in the morning and discover Fulani herdsmen on their lands.
He urged Federal Government to return all displaced persons in the North Central to their homes and take back their lands from Invaders.