By Ola Ajayi
Ibadan – The Olubadan of Ibadanland, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1 has made speaking of Yoruba compulsory in his palace.
The order was given by the prominent traditional ruler,who expressed fear that the way the language is being avoided could lead to its extinction, during a visit by students of the University of Ibadan under aegis of 2016 Yoruba Group Study Abroad (YGPA).
To this end, he called on all Governors in the South West states to ensure that the teaching and learning of the language is made compulsory in all schools in the zone.
He also advised parents in the land to encourage their wards in the speaking and learning of Yoruba Language, noting that any tribe whose language is dead will perish.
The first class monarch made this call at his Popoyemoja, Ibadan residence while receiving about 15 American students who are studing Yoruba in the University of Ibadan.
Oba Adetunji said that the rate at which Yoruba language is dying by the day is alarming and thereby called on parents to cultivate the habits of teaching and speaking the language to their children at all time.
Oba Adetunji said, “I am always worried at the rate at which our language is dying by the day due to the insensitivity of some our parents who now rejected their mother tongue and also prevented their kids from speaking it.”
He however said, “because of the condition we met our language and observed that both the parents and government are not doing anything to salvage our dear language from going into extinction, I made it a standing order that official language in the palace is Yoruba and absolutely, Yoruba.”
Earlier in their addresses, leaders of the team, Prof. Moses Mabayoje of the University of Florida and Miss Tolu Ibikunle of the Yoruba Language centre, University of Ibadan thank the Olubadan for the opportunity given them to visit him. The duo explained that the visit of the students is part of arrangement for them to have a first hand feel of the language of their love and cultural immersion.
They enjoined the Olubadan to appeal to government at various level to create a place for historical collections on Ibadan, where students of Yoruba language can have access to history of the town and her heroes past, noting that the only place they usually visited, the Bower’s Tower is not well taken care of, as the place has been overgrown by weeds.