Lagos PDP, Adams differ over Ambode’s policies

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Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode

The Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to reverse all policies that cause hardship to the people, among them the hike in the Lekki-Epe toll charges.It also charged the governor to suspend the enforcement of the Yoruba language preservation and promotion law 2018.

Meanwhile, Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, Otunba Gani Adams, commended Ambode as a foremost patriot “who will continue to receive the blessings of his kinsmen for promoting Yoruba language and culture.Adams said any country or state that forgets its language would eventually forget its culture and such a political entity would soon become extinct.

PDP Spokesman, Taofik Gani, said in a statement Monday that the party was not only in support of the promotion of Yoruba language and culture, but also other Nigerian languages and cultures, especially in a cosmopolitan Lagos. “However, the lack of due considerations by the Lagos State House of Assembly in making and passing the bill again gives one strong doubts on the competence of the Assembly to deliver flawless legislation,” he stated.

The PDP said it would allow the governor and the state’s Attorney General the benefit of doubt while giving them 72 hours for the public to be educated on the actual provisions of the law.“Otherwise, we can readily assume that the law is another reflection of the All Progressives Congress (APC) acts of ethnocentrism and alienation in the state,” Gani added.

The party also alleged that the House of Assembly hastily directed all its tertiary institutions and other schools to demand credit pass in Yoruba language as a prerequisite for admission.“Hence, by Section 2 of the law, any school that fails to comply with the law will be liable in the first instance to issuance of warning and on subsequent violation will be closed down and also pay a fine of N500, 000.

“This is a clear indication that the law is more interested in revenue, thus it is tainted and in bad faith. The law was not brilliantly considered and its hasty applications make it laughable.“To us in the PDP and a lot of other groups, the law is ethnocentric and direct attack on all non Yoruba residents in the state. It has also usurped the inherent powers of the Senate in the various institutions to determine their qualifications for entry.“We, therefore, advise Governor Ambode to be careful with bills emanating from and passed by the state lawmakers to save the people and the state from further embarrassment.”

Adams on his part thanked the governor for proving that he is, indeed, a true son of Yoruba land, who understood the importance of language and culture to development, saying, “For what Ambode has just done, the gods of Yoruba land and the traditional rulers would continue to bless him.In a statement signed by Gbobaniyi Femi Davies, the Special Adviser, Events and Strategy, to the Aare Ona Kankanfo yesterday, the governor’s decision was described as historic.

It would be recalled that Ambode, at the signing ceremony of the law, said the decision would make it mandatory for students in Lagos State to be admitted “into any of our tertiary institutions with a credit in Yoruba language and the language will now become a major requirement to engage in normal business communication in the state.”Adams said China is today is the fastest-growing advanced country in the world and as it is growing economically; its language is also advancing geometrically alongside its culture, which is being recognised worldwide. The country has the population and the strength to advance its language and culture.

According to him, “We have about 60 million Yoruba in the Southwest including Kogi and Kwara states while there are about 200 million Yoruba population worldwide. If conscious effort is not made, we may, indirectly, relegate our language to the background.“It is on this premise I commend Ambode because the fastest way any nation could advance and promote its language is through education. When you are educated, research and invention will follow.

He said the governor and the State House of Assembly, which he said gave the Bill quick and careful consideration have taken a giant step in the advancement of Yoruba language through education, saying, “Since 1999, never had it been so good because this is the biggest attempt by any Southwest government to put our language in its right of place.”

He commended the state’s lawmakers for conducting its Thursday sessions in Yoruba language. “So, the Ambode administration is clearly doing more than paying lip service to the promotion of Yoruba culture and tradition,” he said.

According to him, “Nigerians should not be surprised if, with this innovation, the ethnic group, in a few decades, become a technologically-advanced race. I, therefore urged other Southwest governors to emulate Lagos bold step and make sure that the promotion of Yoruba cultural and traditional values, including language promotion and preservation, become their priority.”