In order to preserve and promote the State’s cultural heritage, the present administration in Ogun State is set to correct irregularities relating to traditions, norms, culture and most importantly, the Yoruba mode of dressing and language, to prevent them from going into extinction.
Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Oluwatoyin Taiwo made this disclosure while playing host to the Oduduwa United Peoples Association (ODUPA), and Egbe Omo Akomolede ati Asa Yoruba (Teachers of Language and Culture), in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
Dr. Taiwo said government was determined to inculcate the Yoruba culture in the younger generations, who were so engrossed with the western culture, saying the associations needed to intensify efforts in realizing the vision, by promoting the culture and tradition, especially language in the upcoming generations.
According to him, the present administration had also set aside a day in the week for all top government functionaries to dress in the local adire fabric, adding that, “the ministry is putting all hands on deck to ensure the Yoruba language do not go into extinction, even Executive Council Meetings would now be held once in a while in Yoruba, as bill to the effect had been passed to the House of Assembly”.
Also speaking at the occasion, President, ODUPA, Chief Olawale Jimoh, who noted that the Association was for the unification and promotion of the Yoruba lineage, said it was researching into traditions which involves language, dressing, kingship, and preservation of cultural history to the next generation, soliciting the Ministry’s assistance in creating more awareness for the group’s activities, through its various programmes.
In his reaction, the Chairman, Planning Committee for the Egbe Akomolede ati Asa Yoruba, Chief Sina Yekini added that the group plays similar roles to ODUPA, by uplifting tradition and culture among students in schools and the general public, to prevent the mother language from being totally erased from the system.
The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) had set aside February 21 every year, as the International Mothers’ Language Day and March 21, as World Poetry (Ewi) day, to encourage and motivate the younger ones.