Mr Godson Okoye, National Chairman, United Democratic Party (UDP), has advocated the adoption of Pidgin English as Nigeria’s national language to promote unity in the country.
Okoye, who made the call in an interview with the Newsmen on Friday in Abuja, stated that 60 per cent of Nigerians understand Pidgin English.
He said that a common language will bring about national cohesion harmony and unity in the country as well as ensure sustainable development.
“We need to have a common language and pidgin can be picked and polished for that purpose.
“If we have a national language then you can be sure there will be national interest and corruption, nepotism and favoritism will be eradicated from our society.
“If there is a national interest that people are attached to, it will water down regional and personal interests.
“Most of these African countries do better than us because they have a common language, national language followed by national interest which helps to unite the society.”
He said that Pidgin English can be taught in schools, while books should be written in Pidgin and should be used to address national challenges.
Okoye cited an example of countries like France, Germany, Turkey, Spain among others countries that speak their national language at international functions.
The chairman also noted that when Nigerians meet outside the country the first language they speak is Pidgin not Queens English, adding that a common language would also help to strengthen national integration.
According to him, it’s about time Nigeria clearly defines its national interest that will benefit its citizens and enable them have a feel of governance and sense of belonging.
“Nigerians are stashing away money in foreign accounts, this act depicts there is no sense of national pride.
“No British or American would save one million pounds or dollars in Nigeria bank.
“Where is the wisdom in taking money that belongs to the country outside and then turn around to say we need foreign investors, it doesn’t make any sense,” he said.
Okoye further called for the establishment of the Ministry of National Integration, stating that the ministry will work towards ensuring cohesion among the different tribes in the country.
The chairman explained that the ministry will make conscious efforts to unite the country as its objective was different from that of Internal affairs.