Olawale Ashimi, Nigerian songwriter and singer best known as Brymo, has suggested that the federal government should make pidgin English the country’s first language.
The 34-year-old took to his Twitter page to make the suggestion. He also relished the idea of a Nigerian president mounting a conference hall’s podium to address citizens with their local terminologies.
“Make pidgin Nigeria first language. It’s still English, only it has bits of local lingua. It is spoken in maybe every state in the country,” the singer wrote in a mixture of pidgin English.
“E go mad when presido come tv greet say ‘una good afternoon my fellow country people’Sh**ttt!.”
Make pidgin Nigeria first language… it’s still English, only it has bits of local lingua- it is spoken in maybe every state in the country… e go mad when presido come tv greet say “una good afternoon my fellow country people”… shiiiiiit!!!!
— Ọláwálé Ọlọ́fọọ̀rọ̀ (@BrymOlawale) August 27, 2020
English has remained Nigeria’s official language since after independence while the pidgin serves as a Lingua Franca with which the country’s heterogeneous ethnic groups interact in social life.
Amid accounts of the pidgin being spoken first in colonial Nigeria before its adoption in countries along the West African coast, dialects of it exist in Warri, Sapele, Benin, Lagos, among other places.
It is widely spoken in the oil-rich Niger-Delta where its population has adopted it as a first language. It is also spoken in business, music, radio and TV, the news media, and informally across schools.
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