NASS Takes Nigeria Back To Old National Anthem


The Senate and House of Representatives have through a legislative process opted for the country’s return to the old National Anthem.

While the bill to revert to the old National Anthem passed the second reading in the Senate, the Lower House passed the bill to revert on ‘Nigeria, We Hail Thee’ and discard the present one, ‘Arise O’ Compatriots.”

In the Senate, the third reading stage followed the presentation of the lead debate on the general principles of the bill by the sponsor, the Senate leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, during plenary yesterday.
Titled; “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the National Anthem of Nigeria and for matters related thereto, 2024” which was read for the first time yesterday was given accelerated hearing.

Presenting the bill, Opeyemi said that it sought to make provisions for Nigeria to revert to its old National Anthem that would promote a better symbol for unity, peace and prosperity- compared to the current one.

He recalled that when Nigeria had its independence in 1960, it adopted the national anthem titled: “Nigeria, We Hail Thee”.

“The concept, phraseology and the ideological connotation of the anthem, conveyed and epitomised the significant historic heritage of our dear country, Nigeria.

“The anthem upon rendition inspired and stimulated a deep sense of patriotism in Nigerians. It was symbolic of Nigeria’s cultural heritage and nationhood.

“In retrospect, the national anthem served as a regular and constant reminder of our journey as a nation and provoked feelings of nostalgia and fond memories of the country’s early years,” he said.

Supporting the bill, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim (APC-Ondo) queried the current anthem, saying the “language” of the anthem was “elusive”.

Sponsored by the House leader, Hon. Julius Ihonvbere, the bill was speedily passed through second reading, considered and approved at the Committee of the Whole and passed for third reading at plenary

The proposed legislation provided that the National Anthem shall be performed and sung on occasions such as: opening and closing ceremonies of Federal Executive Council, and State Executives Council meetings, opening and closing of sittings of Legislative Houses in Nigeria and Constitutional oath-swearing ceremonies.

It stated that the performance and singing of the national anthem shall follow the lyrics prescribed by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The new law prescribed that when the National Anthem is performed and sung “-(a) those present shall stand and deport respectfully, and

(b) at flag-raising ceremonies, those present shall face the flag, and uniformed military personnel, Police and other security personnel are to give a hand salute, and other persons are to look on in respect.

“Primary and secondary schools shall make the lyrics of the national anthem part of the civic education and organise pupils and students to learn the National Anthem. The second stanza of the former national anthem shall be the national prayer,” the bill reads further.

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