Pidgin In National Discourse

Image source dsto

Image source dsto

Sir: Nigerian pidgin has no status as an official language. In spite of that, it still needs to be included in any discourse like a presidential address, media chat that affects Nigerians at the grassroots. The purpose of this is to establish a sense of belonging with Nigerians. During Presidential media broadcasts, most Nigerians at the grassroots do not understand the ‘big grammar’ that the president speaks to the people.

For instance, during the recent swearing in ceremony of the President on May 29, 2015 a French-speaking interpreter interpreted to French-speaking Africans. The organisers should have gotten a pidgin interpreter as well so as not to make it seem as if we were more interested in relating with Africans who speak French than with Nigerians. Pidgin is our lingua franca as it cuts across religions, tribe and tongue in Nigeria. Our leaders should speak to us in a language we will ‘hear’ and understand.

• Mary Igharo, ANEEJ, Benin City

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