By Onozure Dania
ABUJA—Centre for Social and Inter-Ethnic Cohesion, CENSIC, has chided the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, over its indifference to multi-ethnic compositions of the country.
CENSIC condemned the way and manner, the taskforce tackled questions of newsmen, during the press briefing of the taskforce, held in Abuja on Thursday the 2nd of April 2020.
The group condemned questions asked by various newsmen in Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo in a national setting that addresses issues of national importance, affecting all Nigerians.
Describing such act, as a flagrant disregard to official language of Nigeria, which is English language, the Director of Media, CENSIC, Mr Wellington Olaiya said, “The Ministers of Interior and Environment, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation as well as the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, who should know better, did not address such flagrant disregard of the official language of the country.
“We wish to remind these members of the executive arm of government as well as the newsmen involved, that there are over 500 indigenous languages in Nigeria, and elevating any native language above others, is nothing but serious threat to inter-ethnic cohesion.”
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Olaiya appealed to all government agencies and officials to display social intelligence in a multi-ethnic country such as Nigeria, as he denounced actions seeking to elevate any language or ethnic group above others.
“There are many regional print and electronic media with large followers, who may not understand English, so these regional media houses may be engaged at the appropriate time, but communicating in select languages over a national issue, is very unfortunate, especially when the matter at hand is of utmost importance to all Nigerians.
‘’We shall not fail to undertake court action against any government official or agency that continues to disregard the official language and multi-ethnic composition of Nigeria in the course of their official duties,” he added.