Reviving Old National Anthem My Priority – Tinubu 

Finidi George

Despite the criticism that greeted the restoration of the Nigerian former national anthem as a misplaced priority, President Bola Tinubu has defended his decision, saying it has always been a “priority” for him.

President Tinubu stated this in a meeting with the Arewa Consultative Forum on Thursday in Abuja where he noted that, “Some people say is that your priority? It’s my priority. I agree with the National Assembly. If they make law, I’ve got to obey that law, or we disagree openly and close the chapter.”

The president endorsed the legislation on 29 May to restore the old national anthem, ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’, which was replaced in 1978 with ‘Arise O Compatriots.’

The decision has led to divided opinions among Nigerians with some commentators arguing that reviving the old anthem was an unnecessary distraction considering the many challenges confronting Nigerians.

But Tinubu insisted that Nigeria’s diversity “should be protected and celebrated”.

“Our passport shows that,” he said. “As long as we are Nigerians and one family, we remain and protect our diversity and love one another as brothers and sisters.”

He added that, “It is God Almighty that puts you in that particular place (Nigeria) and makes you a member of that family. You have no control over it.

“When I came begging for votes, I didn’t say vote for me as a Yoruba man, I said vote for me as Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”

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