Nigerian Army orders all personnel to learn Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba before Dec 2018

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NIGERIA — [Abuja] Amidst protests and counter-protests that have erupted the political and social-cultural arena of Nigeria, the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai has ordered his men to learn basic social languages in Nigeria before 2019.

In a statement read by army spokesman, Sani Usman on 22 November, all personnel is mandated to start learning Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba languages before the end of 2018.

Stressing on the need to learn the three languages, the army spokesman said the order is part of language policy by the Nigerian army.


Read Letter Excerpt Below:


  1. The Nigerian Army has introduced a new Language Policy. The study of foreign and local languages is the worldwide practice among armies, in which officers and soldiers are encouraged to be multi-lingual. The Policy will foster esprit-de-corps and better communication with the populace to enhance information gathering, civil-military relations, increase understanding between militaries when operating abroad and assist officers and soldiers to perform their duties professionally.

  2. It is to be noted that English remains the official language in the Nigerian Army. Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa languages could be used during Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities or interrogation. Therefore all Nigerian Army personnel has been given one year to learn the three major Nigerian languages. Invariably, by December 2018, all Nigerian Army personnel are expected to learn the three major Nigerian languages. The standard of proficiency to be attained is the basic level. Certificated proficiency level will attract Language Allowance.

  3. The ability to speak the 3 major Nigerian languages will be an added advantage to those applying for recruitment or commissioning into the Nigerian Army. Therefore, prospective candidates are encouraged to learn Nigerian languages other than their mother tongues.

  4. Before now, the Nigerian Army officially encouraged the learning of French, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese and Swahili. The French language is an assessed subject in some career courses and examinations for Nigerian Army personnel.

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Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman
Director Army Public Relations

You will recall that different groups have called on the federal government of Nigeria to restructure its economic system. The Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB, a secession group has been calling for a referendum to determine its fate to remain in Nigeria. The former president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan had also called on the present government to initiate the 2014 Confab report organized under his watch.

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