Language question and the constitutional challenges of development in a multilingual country
AbstractWith more than four hundred and fifty languages spoken in the country ( Adedimeji, 2004) Nigeria has her fair share of the African heritage of not only being a cultural haven but a linguistic paradise. This sociolinguistic situation has posed serious challenges to development and integration that the problems of Nigeria as a microcosm of Africa are sometimes attributed
to the analogy of the Tower of Babel_ a linguistic confusion. This paper puts multilingualism in its proper perspective as a blessing, which must be accorded a full constitutional recognition, rather than a curse; an asset, rather than a liability. While making Nigeria a focal point of reference, especially the language component of her constitutional history, it is posited that
linguistic pluralism is no less valuable to a nation or continent than the wide variety of flowers in a garden or divergent cuisine in a community.