The Olubadan of Ibadanland, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1 has made speaking of Yoruba obligatory in his palace.
Vanguard reports that the prominent traditional ruler made the pronouncement at his Popoyemoja residence during a visit by 15 American students of the University of Ibadan under the aegis of 2016 Yoruba Group Study Abroad (YGPA), noting that it was a means of preserving the language.
Oba Aje Ogungunniso 1 who called on Governors in the South West region to make the teaching of Yoruba language mandatory in all schools, also advised parents to encourage their wards in the speaking and learning of the language, as any tribe whose language is dead will perish.
“I am always worried at the rate at which our language is dying by the day due to the insensitivity of some our parents who now rejected their mother tongue and also prevented their kids from speaking it,” he said, before adding, “because of the condition we met our language and observed that both the parents and government are not doing anything to salvage our dear language from going into extinction, I made it a standing order that official language in the palace is Yoruba and absolutely, Yoruba.”
Leaders of the team, Prof. Moses Mabayoje of the University of Florida and Miss Tolu Ibikunle of the Yoruba Language Centre, University of Ibadan, thanked the Olubadan for the opportunity given them to visit him.
The duo, who explained that the reason for the visit was for cultural immersion, enjoined the Olubadan to appeal to government to create a place for historical collections on Ibadan where students of the language can connect with the history of the town and her heroes past.