By Our Reporter
The National Publicity Secretary of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Emmah Gospel Isong, has given reasons the federal government should ensure that French language is made compulsory in all Nigerian schools.
Isong, who is the presiding Bishop of the Calabar-based Christian Central Chapel Int’l(CCCI), made the remarks while playing host to the new executive committee and members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Cross River Council, who were in the Church for a thanksgiving service, Sunday.
“Nigeria is an English speaking country surrounded by French speaking ones including Benin Republic, Chad, Niger and Cameroon Republic of which a greater percentage speaks French too. Africa itself has 54 countries of which only 19 are English speaking. 33 speak French while the remaining two speak Spanish and Portuguese respectively.
“It is very important that the federal government of Nigeria should consider making the study of French language compulsory in our schools for ease of commerce and to enhance international relations.
“You use language to transact business and you cannot do a good business with a neighbor who does not understand your language.
“Now, if you try to cross to the next country, you will be confronted by a French speaking man who does not understand your grammar. You get lost right inside Africa because you cannot communicate in French.
“Let us reason it this way, if most of the countries in Africa speak French, then to me, Africa is a French continent. This is why we cannot altogether ignore the French language. It is when you move out a bit to cross the boundary that you will understand what I am talking about.
“I have traveled all over Africa and other continents of the world and I tell you the truth, as a Nigerian, you are at a disadvantage if you do not understand French language,” Isong, who doubles as the Patron of the NUJ, Zone F, stated.
Earlier, the NUJ Chairman, Comrade Nsa Gill, told the congregation that the newly elected NUJ Cross River State Executive Committee had thought it wise to start the three-year journey with God.
He believed that with God’s help, the Union in the State would be repositioned, and therefore charged members to be closer to God and support the union to help the new leadership to succeed.