A communiqué signed by the workshop’s chairman and Director General, Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki, at the end of the workshop recently in Zuru, said the workshop was organised in order to expose the C’Lela orthography to intellectual discourse, provide technical support for its standardisation and review its acceptability for use in schools and non-formal education in Nigeria.
He described language as an important aspect of a people’s life and that it is a vehicle through which people’s culture, knowledge, norms and values are preserved and expressed for the benefit of humanity.
“It is, therefore, necessary for Lelna people, the world over, to renew their love and pride for C’Lela and speak C’Lela to each other whenever and wherever they find themselves.
“The workshop also identified the need for Mother Tongue (MT) or First Language (L1) education; it is the bedrock for learning and becoming more proficient in other languages, especially the second language (English language).
“In view of this, government is called upon to support the development of C’Lela as well as other languages so as to ensure the social, economic and educational development of the people living in rural areas.
“The workshop has found that, there are quite a number of widely tested literary works using the existing orthography that have been in circulation for the past 15 years. This makes the orthography capable of meeting the literacy needs of over 3.1 million Lelna people, most of who are settled in Kebbi and Niger states,” Dikki said.
He said the workshop resolved that, the upgraded draft of the orthography, as recommended by the workshop, should be submitted to the NERDC for consideration and approval of the language to be taught in schools and in non-formal education in Kebbi and Niger states.
C’lela language has 28 letters, 8 vowels, 5 diphthongs, 20 consonants and 21 glides as against the former proposed 28 letters (20 consonants and 8 vowels).