The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Thursday, applauded the launch of Nigeria’s constitution in three indigenous languages by Prince Ade Ajayi Foundation (PAAF), saying efforts would expedite nation-building.
PAAF Centre for Constitutional Literacy and Civic Education launched Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution into Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo languages and the Naija Patriots Constitution app, which contains the audio format of the constitution.
The foundation led by Prince Ade Ajayi, also published the book, “I Love Nigeria, My Country” to promote citizen’s passionate love for the country.
While unveiling the translations and the book, Oba Adeyemi said: “For a young man to have translated the constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended into three major languages is a feat.
“It is an opportunity for Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo people to read the constitution in their own local languages and come to a conclusion whether the constitution is working or not.”
The Oba, who decried that Ajayi Crowther, having singlehandedly translated the Bible into Yoruba and other languages died unsung abs uncelebrated, prayed that the PAAF president, would not die uncelebrated for the feat.
“May you be celebrated,” the first class Yoruba traditional ruler, prayed.
The traditional ruler, who expressed a little disappointment about the absence of many invited dignataries at the event, said that Nigerian Constitution needed to be worked upon to allow restructuring for the nation to make progress.
The Alaafin, who noted that he had read the constitution several times, urged Nigerians to read and understand the workings of the constitution, with the opportunity provided by PAAF.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu described the efforts of PAAF as laudable and apt especially at this time of in the nation’s history.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, Mr Adekunle Olayinka, said: “It will have a far-reaching impart in governance.
“We should now expect contributions of people in governance, even from pepper sellers on the street.”
Also speaking, Sen. Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State said that broadening the understanding of Nigerians about the constitution, especially with the translation of the document into three indigenous languages, was a big and laudable job.
Tinubu, who was represented by Mr Ademola Sadiq, the immediate past Lagos State Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC) commended PAAF’s president for the herculean job.
“He (Ajayi) has kicked the ball rolling. It is always better when everybody is aware of his rights, duties and obligations to the state. Prince Ade Ajayi deserves all the praises and commendations.
“This will make the country better to govern and make the followers easier to manage. We don’t have to wait for China to come and translate our constitution into our languages,” Tinubu said.
In his remark, Mr Segun Olulade, a two-term former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, who described the efforts of PAAF foundation as remarkable feat, said: “A lot of people are going to know their rights and and ask question
“He (Ajayi) has started a new revolution in the constitution of Nigeria. With the translations, a lot of people at the grassroots will understand constitution and pick interest in getting good governance.”
Earlier, Ajayi, President of PAAF, said that the project on constitutional literacy, which had scaled through all odds and finally emerged a reality, was aimed at creating Nigeria of everyone’s dream.
He said that the six-year-long translations were aimed at promoting national orientation, unity and integration through constitutional literacy.
Describing constitution as fundamental in the existence and development of a country, Ajayi decried that many Nigerians did not even know the constitution nor read it,
“We must start this movement from a document that binds us together as a country, that is; The constitution, in order to build the nation of our dreams.
“According to our research, we find out a good percentage of Nigerians do not even know the constitution nor have they ever read it,” he said.
Ajayi said that the book, ‘I Love Nigeria My Country’, was to build and ignite love towards the nation and change perception and behaviourial approach of Nigerians to the country.
According to him, if Nigerians are well informed about the country and the constitution, they will choose leaders capable of facilitating constitutional amendments to bring development without war.
The event also witnessed inauguration of the maiden edition of Naija Patriots Award, an award to celebrate 100 patriotic Nigerians for their contributions to various aspects of our nation.