The Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe, and the Director-General of the Ekiti State Council of Arts and Culture, Mr. Wale Ojo-Lanre, have expressed fears that the Yoruba language might go into extinction if steps are not taken to promote its usefulness and values.
The monarch and the DG spoke in Ado Ekiti when the latter paid a courtesy call on Oba Adejugbe at his palace on Wednesday.
Oba Adejugbe said the new head of the agency should not betray the confidence reposed on them by Governor Kayode Fayemi or shirk in their responsibilities to rejuvenate the arts and culture sectors in the state to be able to contribute to economic development.
The monarch said: “Our culture and tradition are seriously endangered, especially our language and dialect, which are our greatest identities and assets.
“Most of our children now attend private schools, where Yoruba language and Ekiti dialect are prohibited. Even at home, the parents speak English to their children.
“Those who said Yoruba might fade out before 25 years didn’t lie, because we don’t value it. The white men we are emulating even protect their own. They are even coming to learn Ifa and run its panegyric fluently.
“Losing our values had made us suffered in so many ways. In the olden days, only one person would conquer Book Haram and other killers, this is how far we have gone to lose our cultural and traditional potentials.”
Ojo-Lanre said that there was the need for concerted to rescue Yoruba language, adding that: “Our vision is to add the arts and culture to be among the sectors that will shore up development of this state.
“Our proposition is to partner all the monarchs in all the 133 towns, so that we can promote all our festivals to promote societal values and generate revenue.”
The DG added that Ado Ekiti metropolis occupies a pivotal position in the history of Yoruba nation, which he said should be protected and launched to a global pedestal.
“Anything that has to do with arts and culture must be promoted. Our Yoruba language and Ekiti dialect were gradually fading out, they are being abandoned.
“Some English carried did a research in Peckham in London few years ago and discovered that Yoruba language may go into extinction in 15 years.
“We must preserve our heritage for our children, we must not let our festivals like; Ogun, Ifa, Egungun , Ija and our general ways of life from dying. They must be protected and that we shall achieve,” he said.