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The National Question: Language Policy and the Quest for a Common Language in Nigeria

Muhammad Badamasi TSAURE
Department of Educational Foundations
Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto
GSM 08067470407


Abu-Ubaida SANI
Department of Educational Foundations
Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto
Phone No. 08133529736
Email Adress:

Being a paper presented at the international conference of the Faculty of Arts and Islamic Studies, on The Role of the Arts on Development held at Musa Abdullahi Auditorium, Bayero University, Kano, from 9th to 12th Octorber 2016
Policies related to language in Nigeria, which are otherwise known as language policies were
introduced from the outset by the colonial government. These policies favored English Language thereby leveling The Indigenous languages as substrate. After independence, Nigeria still maintains these policies as they were being designed by the colonial masters posing a minute doubts whether or not Nigeria is still under British colonialism's. Some concerned citizens however laid down significant series of criticisms about the ineffectiveness of Nigeria's language policies as to call for the revisit and revision of all the language-related policies so that, perhaps, one or more indigenous language(s) will emerge as the National language (s). This write-up therefore, casts a look at the National language policy and the quest for a common language. It concludes with a clarion call for all and sundry to consider that National language question is not exclusive reserve for linguists but a collective task upon everybody.
Key words: Language, Policy, Language Policy, National Language, Common Language

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