A University don, Prof. Tajudeen Bolanle Opoola, a Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Federal University Oye-Ekitk (FUOYE), has advocated for the use of indigenous languages as effective tools for combating and erasing acts of terrorism, kidnapping, cultism, hooliganism, and armed robbery among others.
Prof. Opoola made the recommendation while presenting his inaugural lecture as first Professor of Applied Linguistics of the Ivory Tower. His lecture was entitled: ” Linguistics and Languages as Scientific tools for Nation Building” and with it, he explained how the two fields of study could help in nation building, particularly, in the area of combating violent and immoral acts such as terrorism, kidnapping, cultism, prostitution and hooliganism which unfortunately hold sway in the country today.
The Professor of Applied Linguistics averred that Linguistics is related to virtually all fields of human endeavour and defended this assertion by citing instances such as linguistics’ relationship with science, mathematics, entertainment, computer, and health among others. He also explicated on how linguistics is deployed in these areas to solve several human problems such as promoting and preserving of people, culture, and traditions, healing certain health issues like dyslexia and dyslexic children among others.
Illustrating the link between linguistics and health matters, Prof Opoola said: “Clinical Linguistics has to do with the linguistic approaches to health. It is an aspect of linguistics that centres on linguistics’ theories, concepts, and methods of language disorders. For instance, it deals with language therapy and has special units in the teaching hospitals world over. “
The University don also listed 24 areas in which his almost three decades of scholarship has contributed to knowledge and development and stressed the need for Nigerians to utilize their potentials to the fullest with the use of their indigenous languages.
Among the way forward he provided for meaningful development and growth through the deployment of languages and linguistics are: “,Nigerian indigenous languages need to be employed as media of instruction at schools and particularly for scientific and technological disciplines, more computer-based language programms should be developed using Nigerian languages, Tongue twisting, moonlight plays, indigenous games like Ayo, bojuboju, alo apagbe, alo apamo and others in which African languages are the media of interaction and communication should be given the deserved prime of place and made compulsory in Nigerian primary school curriculum; this will inculcate the idea of loving one’s culture among Nigerians from the infant stage and expose our children to moral education in African culture and traditions; a good foundation in African traditionally based education prepared a well-brought-up individual in an African child.
“The eruption of moral rottenness where the struggle of life is resulting in kidnapping, armed robbery, prostitution, political assassination, hooliganism, cultism, gangsters among other lawless acts are the effects of wrong childhood orientation built on alien foundations and culture,” he submitted.
Corroborating Prof. Opoola’s submissions, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Abayomi Sunday Fasina, said it was high time Nigeria deployed her numerous and rich indigenous languages for meaningful growth as development, adding that the University system is already contributing hugely in such area by giving quality education in languages and Linguistics and other disciplines in the humanities.
Declaring Opoola as a Professor of Applied Linguistics of the upwardly mobile varsity, he described him as a man who gives excellent services to the Ivory Tower and one in whom he is well pleased.