The choice of the title is a deliberate one, looks cliché but that’s the beauty of it. A lot of things have been written about Chibok that some people are tired of it but this is definitely another dimension to it.
We have a very big problem of trust in Nigeria. I cannot totally blame us, past occurrences have taught us lessons, we have learnt the hard way.
I’ve been seeing comments everywhere, questioning the authenticity of the kidnapped girls, after about eighty (80) of them were released few days ago. The main argument however has been that “since the supposedly kidnapped girls were preparing for WAEC, why is it that they cannot actually speak good English or are their subjects not instructed in English language?”.
This piece is not to make a case for any part or group but for us to see reality beyond whether the inability of those students to speak English is enough reason for us to call it a scam. I believe with time, all parties, (Pro and anti-Chibok – True or Scam) will find our places where appropriate.
The sad truth, which is very unfortunate is that, majority if not all Government Secondary Schools in Kano (I don’t want to generalise for all Northern states, albeit, it could be true for the whole Northern region) are being taught in Hausa language, especially those in rural areas like Chibok.
Only a few government schools that have various branches across the state (like Government Science and Technical Schools) teach in English language and expectedly, the Private Secondary Schools in the Metropolitan area. It would surprise you to know that even, English Language is taught in Hausa.
YES, there is no mucus in your eyes and you can see clearly, they teach their students English language in Hausa. This is not a claim based on hearsays but priceless evidences
The reality is, the Hausa people value their dialect far beyond any other language. A group of children will tell me, “Uncle, English, no good, Hausa Very Very good”. Can you blame them?
This is how they have been brought up and what they have been made to believe. You can’t imagine being in a class, instructing with English language and the children are telling you to speak more of Hausa than English or if possible, purely Hausa.
Their Hausa teachers also do not aid matters as they indulge this, all in the name of “they need to understand what we’re teaching”. If other regions should begin to teach with their native dialects, then, I think the ethnic and tribal war in Nigeria would perhaps be second only to the World Wars.
Even at their official places of work, as long as they’re all Hausa speaking people there, you’ll never hear them speak any other language apart from Hausa.
Even if you’re not an Hausa person, once you say one or two things in Hausa to them, they believe you understand and then, start bombarding you with the talk. I couldn’t phantom until I witnessed it, going to a supposed “education board” in one of the local government areas in Kano and I could barely find someone to communicate in English language with.
I gave them the excuse of, most of the people I saw did not look like “real government officials”, more like messengers and office assistants, still says a lot about such illness in the board. Apparently, this is one of the areas of the Northern region that needs help.
Your native language is very much important just as much as the lingua franca is important in relating with people of diverse ethnicity.
By Lateef Sanni, A Social Media Commentator