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Open Letter to Minister of Education from Patriotic Elders Network of Nigeria for Peace and Justice

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By Danbature Abdul’aziz

This letter primarily is to praise the Minister of Education, under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari who also deserves immeasurable praise too. With regards to the decision to change our educational system to teaching our kids in their mother’s tongue.

I am confident if you browse within 7-8 top notch achievements of this present administration, I personally would rank this as third or fourth.

A question I occasionally ask myself is did our national system got damaged by the colonial masters or was it from the constant coup d’ etat that occurred within the last few decades that accelerated our achievements extremely backwards, or the present day politicians. We have been blessed with countless amounts of natural resources ranging from enormous land for agriculture, oil, and so many others. A land so blessed and versatile that no matter what you plant, it yields absolutely perfect results. Nigeria is a country blessed with unlimited amount of educated individuals. Yes, we are surpassed by other countries but in all honesty we are truly better than a-lot of others.

We have arrived at a certain stage where life for a Nigerian has become immeasurably difficult a problem that arrises from either the ruling class of the society or the ruled, educated folks of the society or the uneducated. I think one of the largest obstacles was not giving equal opportunity as English to the Mother’s tongue. The time has finally arrived for us to completely have a 360 of our lifestyle, that old lifestyle of ours has been soiled by corruption, lack of patriotism, and complete abundance of law and order.

If i were the one in charge of the educational sector or an influential stakeholder, I would have explicitly stick to the three major languages we have in the country.

Based on analysis by experts I am certain these three major languages cover at least 70-80% of their respective regions. However, this tough but achievable process will consume time and resources, this high resource consumption might be the biggest obstacle which translates into lack of support and policy discontinuation by newer administrations .

This new system as I mentioned earlier is like a completely different seed planted that would yield a never seen before results. These new results include Good morals, virtue, and discipline. However, this is only achievable if our school curriculum reflects these positive attributes, this implies that Civic Education is given additional attention and priority.

At least 30 minutes of compulsory civic education for every one our public or private school students to impose and instill the love, respect, abiding by law & order and appreciation of our country in their minds.

Lack of patriotism is our Number one enemy, is the primary reason why everything is significantly backwards. We as a nation do not care or respect law and order, it is practically non-existent , if it does, it is extraordinarily minor and insignificant that one often wonder if it exists. Let us use our neighbor, Niger republic as a means of reference.

The average Nigerien who comes to Nigeria to take on a water-pushing Job is more patriotic and proud of his country than the average Nigerian who has a Billion Naira in their bank account or a Known public officer.

I have traveled to different countries in each and every one of the continents and i am yet to see a country as lawless as mine. The back bone of every civil society is law and order, It is the number one most influential part of every society.

It should be compulsory, non-negotiable for every one of young children to soak, learn and fully comprehend patriotism in their curriculum.

In my humble opinion, I believe the English language has negatively influenced our achievement as a nation. When you take Europe for example, In almost every nation, there are smaller ethnicities however the dominant ones are always the official language of the country.

England, France, Portugal, and so many other places. Whatever kind of invention with European origin were done by People who strictly commit to their mother tongue.

The development and advancement of the world has been and stayed with those who hold their mother tongue as their official language of education.

Asia for example, A significant amount of countries have their most dominating language as the official spoken language.

This is why their advancements are astronomical due to learning, explaining and digesting education with their mother tongue. Within these numerous different Asian countries, like China, India and others, their number one language is their mother tongue. Even though English is taught, however, just as a minor language, like French or Arabic in our present Nigerian curriculum.

These countries stick to their most dominant languages and look where it got them. Pakistan for example is not even historically as powerful and rich as Nigeria, but because they strictly focus on teaching their society in their official language, look where it got them to. They have a Nuclear weapon of their own, which is pretty impressive.

The United states, Canada, Russia and even the far East countries all have adopted their most dominant languages as their official language which have evidently shown accelerated growth and development.

Let me further elaborate, I confidently swear to God that if you were to assemble all the top notch Engineers or Doctors in Nigeria, their number is greater than those in some European nations. Even though we are extremely proud of and respective of our Engineers, however, you can not pinpoint an invention used daily by our Engineers, whereas 15 year olds and younger in Nigeria have invented and developed technological advancements in Nigeria . If you could put a survey out there of the things English speaking Engineers and Mother tongue speaking Engineers, their ratio has greatly multiple than the former. Analogies and examples like such should be evident on the influence of mother tongue. I assure you this idea is a direct blueprint of a new Nigeria, where things are infinitely better.

In many instances, the number one advocate for helping citizens loose their patriotism is Either a handful schools or places of worship. People look up to the people in charge of these places, which make their words very influential. few of the bad eggs Imams or Pastors are not an ambassador for patriotism then the society crumble into lawlessness and backwardness.

They feed their audience hate and disunity which encourages and pushes more diversity, in a place like Nigeria that is extremely diverse, One should be careful of the words they spew, especially religious custodians. My view is for these negativity to complete wash off our minds and bodies, New era where tribalism, religion, and regional differences do not affect our upcoming children harmony.

Our time is almost up, I assure you, once these policies are properly implemented and supervised, then in 30-40 years Nigeria of today will seize to exist.

The young reader of my letter will say that “An old man has predicted this over 40 years ago” . It shall become a utopia for greatness, Giant of Africa, God has given us everything, its left for us to harness this greatness through discipline and patriotism.

In Football for example, Lack of diversity has worsen our track record, we used to be the best in Africa, but now look where things are. Lack of coordination, and tribalism has strongly accelerated our downfall on the football field and other fields too. If the appropriate response will be given by the authorities, our society would have developed far from where we are today.

For now, I think we are almost late, but there is still time. The new page we are about to open should be brand new with no stains, we should be great ambassadors of our nation. We parents should also lend our eyes and attention to our society, we should be wary of who our children engage with. We should be cautious of the traditional leaders we associate with. I hope when this starts, in the next few years, the present head of state encourages this policy and push it to our higher institutions.

Once again, let me express my sincerest appreciation and gratitude to the Education Minister and especially to president Muhammadu Buhari with whose authority our dream Nigeria might finally come true.

(Dr.)Danbature Abdul’aziz (MON) President National Patriotic Group 

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