The House of Representatives on Wednesday kicked against the new local language policy proposed by the Nigerian Army.
The House also urged the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, a lieutenant general, to stop the implementation of the policy.
The House noted that the policy sought to compel all personnel to be proficient in three major Nigerian languages: Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba by December 2018.
The resolution was sequel to the unanimous adoption of a motion, sponsored by two members, Abiante Dagomie and Diri Douye.
Moving the motion, Mr. Dagomie reiterated the need for the Army to continue with the practice of communicating in English language in a multi-lingual Army.
Mr. Dagomie, who said that the policy infringed on the fundamental rights of the minority languages in the country, added that it would serve no purpose beyond fractionalisation and marginalisation in the Army.
He said, “Nigeria is home to languages, numbering about 400 and that language gives insight into the personality and culture of a people.
“Therefore, such a local language policy proposed by the Nigerian Army infringes on the fundamental rights of the minorities not to be foisted with the linguistic and cultural hegemonies of major languages “This situation, should it continue unabated, will lead to discrimination and exclusion from employment opportunities, promotion and ambush of the legitimate aspirations of overwhelming numbers of non-native speakers of Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa in the Army.
The Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun, presided over the plenary, referred the motion to the Committee on Army to interface with the Chief of Army Staff on the policy with a view to ensuring a stop to it.
The committee is to report back in four weeks.(NAN)