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FEDERAL GOVT. REVERTS TO THEFORMER ANTHEM, “Nigeria We Hail Thee”

 

Samuel Marshall

Nigeria’s president Bola Tinubu has signed a law to institute again the nation’s former anthem, “Nigeria We Hail Thee”.The president endorsed the bill, known as the National Anthem Bill, on Wednesday 29th May 2024, after the House of Representatives, followed by the Senate passed it, at the end of a couple of readings on the floor of each house.

The bill was also presented at a public hearing by the Senate Joint Committee on the Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Federal Character, and Inter-governmental Affairs.

“Nigeria We Hail Thee” was written by British expatriate  Lilian Jean Williams, and then composed into music by  Frances Berda. Nigeria adopted it at  independence on 1st October 1960, to foster unity and commitment to nationhood.

In 1978, the Federal Government, under Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, parted with the anthem, in favour of a military-flavoured new one, “Arise O compatriots”.

The present lawmakers (of the 10th National Assembly) expressed belief that the recalled anthem better represents the national psyche.

But a few Nigerians think that changing the anthem at this time of hardship is a misplacement of priority.

At the request of the Senate President Godswill Akpabio, the lawmakers stood and rendered the reinstituted anthem by mouth, bringing the session to a close.

 

THE ANTHEM

 

Nigeria we hail thee,

Our own dear native land,

Though tribe and tongue may differ,

In brotherhood we stand,

Nigerians all, and proud to serve

Our sovereign Motherland.

 

Our flag shall be a symbol

That truth and justice reign,

In peace or battle honour’d,

And this we count as gain,

To hand on to our children

A banner without stain.

 

O God of all creation,

Grant this our one request,

Help us to build a nation

Where no man is oppressed,

And so with peace and plenty

Nigeria may be blessed.***

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