The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, has urged traditional rulers in the Southwestern part of Nigeria to continue to protect the culture and tradition of the people of the zone by constantly speaking the Yoruba language.
Speaker Obasa made the plea on Tuesday at the palace of the Olota of Otta, His Royal Majesty, Prof Adeyemi Obalanlege, where he was honoured with the traditional title of Jagunmolu Taiyese of Otta Awori kingdom.
While thanking the Olota for the honour, Obasa commended the monarch for propagating the Yoruba tradition saying this had reflected in the way the monarch and the Olota-in-council spoke Yoruba language all through the event.
“Beyond your educational status, you still limited yourself to our own mother-tongue. I have been to many palaces and have always maintained that the royal fathers should always distinguish our culture before anyone and in any place.
“How do we do this? It is by using our mother-tongue to communicate with whosoever the visitor is, no matter the status and wherever he comes from. That is one of the sure ways we can propagate and preserve our custom and tradition.
The Speaker noted that the need to preserve the language, custom and culture of the Yoruba race resulted in the decision of the Lagos State House of Assembly to carry out plenary activities in the native language on Thursdays.
He said the House reasoned that promoting the language during plenary would help more residents understand some of the laws that guide their daily activities.
“We have also agreed that all the laws passed by the House would now be translated into Yoruba for the benefit of those we are representing.
“When Christianity was introduced to Nigerians, their holy book was translated into Yoruba. The holy book of the Muslims has also been translated into Yoruba for more people to understand,” the Speaker said.
He urged parents to speak the language at home as, according to him, understanding one’s native language does not hinder one from being able to speak English fluently.
Earlier, the Olota had praised the Speaker for the successes his leadership of the Lagos Assembly had registered saying the activities of the House had also positively impacted on the Awori people in the state.
The traditional ruler urged the Speaker to see and take Otta as his second home.