Ifeoluwa, Oyebolu & Olutunji, Olaoye

A major need of every human being is security. Every human being needs to feel that they are safe from predators and would be assailants. This is why a lot of expectation is often on governments to deploy every available machinery to guarantee the safety of their citizens. In West Africa, with new cases of issues of insecurity among member nations, there is also growing anxiety and anticipation from citizens who expect their governments to step up to the challenge. The ECOWAS, set up primarily as an economic body for West African states, has through the instrumentation of its security council, being attempting to curb the rising rate of insecurity to lives and properties within the bloc. Unfortunately, the multilingual nature of many all member states has continued to pose a major challenge to the efforts of the body. With hundreds of languages spoken across West Africa, ECOWAS has had to rely heavily on the languages of colonialism that is English and French to communicate among member nations. While relying on colonial languages aids in communication especially among the elites, there is a continued danger of neglecting the grassroots where many may not speak or understand either of the languages adopted officially by ECOWAS. This paper focuses on the multilingual character of West Africa, how it has or is affecting the fight against insecurity, and what can be done to use the multilingual nature of the region as tool for maintaining security, and not as an impediment. The paper reviews a number of previous works on the issues of insecurity and multilingualism, as well as reports available from various reliable sources. The paper recommends that stakeholders begin moves to write important security information in the languages of the people, while incorporating learning the major languages within the bloc among security operatives within ECOWAS member states. Keywords: multilingualism, ECOWAS, security, French language, West Africa 0150