By Omoghene Benedict
A group, Urhobo Youth Vision, UYV has advocated for compulsory teaching of the Urhobo language in all basic and secondary schools in Nigeria particularly in Delta state.
The President of the group, Dr. Joel Ejutememuh made the call during a courtesy visit of the group to all Urhobo traditional rulers at the palace of the Ohworode of Olomu Kingdom, HRM, Ogbon Oghoro I, JP in Ughelli South local government area of Delta State.
According to Dr. Ejutememuh, “Urhobo being the 5th largest ethnic nationality in Nigeria should be included in both West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) curriculum.
“It is very unfortunate that majority of our Urhobo sons and daughters are finding it difficult to speak the language and some are even ashame to identify with their culture, customs and traditions unlike other ethnic nationality.
“Urhobo Youth Vision is all about sociocultural activities to promote our cultural heritage and we must do something now before the Urhobo language go into extinction which is part of our identity”.
On their part, the Orodje of Okpe, said, “The vision and idea of the group is right because our children no longer speak the Urhobo dialect and to make it worse, even the educated and uneducated parents speak English to their children.
“The Ibo’s has stolen the culture of Urhobo because they do watch home movies in their culture and for that reason,they now address Urhobo Kings as Igwe which is an aberration to our culture, customs and traditions.
“By UNESCO projection, Urhobo language was listed and the languages that will soon go into extinction and if we do not support this group, I am having the fear that after we might have passed away, our language will go with us”.
Also the Ohworode of Olomu Kingdom, HRM Richard Ogbon Oghoro I, JP, RDN, RC blamed most parents for failing to speak and teach their children the Urhobo language at home.
He said, “My children can only speak English language outside my home, and immediately they step into my compound, they must speak our traditional Urhobo language and it will interest you to know that I have just bought Urhobo language books for my children that are not in Nigeria to teach their children”.