The English Language as a Panacea for National Integration, Security and Development in Nigeria
In a multi-lingual and divergent ethnic country like Nigeria, social interaction, mutual trust and patriotism are usually very difficult to achieve. In such a pluralistic linguistic and cultural setting, there is always inevitable necessity for people of diverse tongues to interact and operate smoothly in social, political, economic, educational and cultural settings or institutions. If these social interactions are to yield positive and visible results, culminating in growth and development of the individuals and the nation in general, they must be done via a language devoid of mutual suspicion, distrust, hatred and insecurity. To this extent, the English language, which is the only language in Nigeria that possesses the capacity to unify the babel tongues of the various ethnic and linguistic groups, provides intelligibility in inter-personal and group communication in the operation of social structures. This paper therefore, traces and provides sufficient evidence to prove that the English language alone holds the key to national integration, security and development through the provision of level playing group and platform for various divergent linguistic groups to contribute their quota to the growth and development of the geographical entity called Nigeria.