Gyang Bere, Jos
National Coordinator of the Conference of Auchthonous Ethnic Nationalities Community Development Association (CONAECDA), Dr. Zuwaghu Bonat has urged the Federal Government to recover lands forcefully occupied by Invaders in the North and return it to ancestral owners to protect their languages from going into extinction.
He noted that the current security challenges in the country constitute serious threats to the existence of minority languages in the North where communities have been displaced and their lands invaded by foreigners.
Dr. Bonat disclosed this in Jos during the inauguration of the 19 Northern States chapters of Conference of Auchthonous Ethnic Nationalities Community Development Association (CONAECDA) and celebration of United Nation’s Year for Indigenous Languages 2019, held at Izere Arena, Lamingo, Plateau state.
“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 forcefully 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 in the air, you need land to build your house.
“We insist that all occupied lands by Invaders must be liberated so that people can return to their communities. This is our message to the Federal Government and we are asking communities to organised themselves and go back to their lands.”
He called on Local Government education authorities in Northern Nigeria to ensure the teaching of minority ethnic languages into primary schools in the region.
President of CONAECDA, Mr. Eric From who was represented by Prof. About 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 in 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.
Prof. Bassey Okon of the Department of Linguistics, University of Calabar who led delegates from the South South admonished parents to ensure that their children speaks their indigenous languages.