FOREMOST politician and elder statesman, Chief Anthony Eronmonsele Enahoro’s kindred- The Esan, have declared fear that, their language and cultural values, may go extinct if definite urgent steps are not taken to ensure that it is vigorously taught in schools. Rising from a National Conference with the theme ‘Esan & National Development’ held under the aegis of Ikolo Esan, an umbrella sociocultural organisation floated to promote the interest of the people, at the weekend in Ekpoma, Edo State, they expressed fear that the Esan language may die because their children are not being sufficiently encouraged to speak the language.
“Esan language is now threatened because it is not widely spoken; it is now dying because people believe it is some status symbol to speak English. Unless our people speak Esan, it will die like Latin. At least you can still learn and read Latin. But Esan is not taught in any schools. Even those born in Esanland can’t speak Esan. We need to speak and teach the language. People are also abbreviating Esan names in such a way that it is becoming damaging”, they contend. Decrying the wanton speaking of adulterated English, now pervasive amongst women and children in the five Local Government Areas comprising Esanland, they asked for the establishment of a Centre for Esan Cultural Values at the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma to prepare the grounds for the teaching of the language at different levels and promote the people’s cultural attributes.
The four-day conference which drew resource persons and participants from different parts of Nigeria and supported by Esan in Diaspora, called on government to urgently check erosion in Esanland, by encouraging massive vegetation of the area among other issues.
Credit: The Nation Online