Nigerian Akwa Ibom state may make French language compulsory

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Nigeria (red) and Cameroon (green):
and the location of Akwa Ibom in Nigeria:

Here's some more evidence that influences on language are generally more local than global:

Akwa Ibom government may make French Language compulsory for secondary schools in order to ensure effective communication with the people of Cameroun and new owners of the oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula. Governor Godswill Akpabio gave the indication while receiving a report of a six-man committee, set up to assess the impact of the ceding of the region to Cameroun on the state.

The Governor expressed concern that French language had not been taken seriously despite the state’s proximity to French-speaking countries. He promised to discuss the issue with the Commissioner for Education.

“I think we can make the study of French compulsory and see how far we can go with it. I hope the students will take it seriously”, he said.
Wikipedia on Bakassi:
Bakassi is the peninsular extension of the African territory of Calabar into the Atlantic Ocean. It is currently ruled by Cameroon following the transfer of sovereignty from neighbouring Nigeria as a result of a judgment by the International Court of Justice. On 22 November 2007, the Nigerian Senate rejected the transfer, since the Green Tree Agreement ceding the area to Cameroon was contrary to Section 12(1) of the 1999 Constitution. Regardless, the territory was formally transferred to Cameroon on August 14, 2008.
There's also a BBC article on the handover here.


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