BREAKING: Tinubu approves old National Anthem ‘Nigeria we hail thee’

In a historic move, President Bola Tinubu has signed into law the National Anthem Bill 2024, restoring the old national anthem “Nigeria, we hail thee” as the official anthem of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The bill was passed by both the Senate and House of Representatives earlier this week.

The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio announced this on Wednesday during a joint session of the National Assembly.

He also announced that the president will not address the House but only flag off the new anthem.

Speaker Tajudeen Abbas said the president cancelled the address because June 12 is the official Democracy Day.

The old anthem, originally composed for Nigeria’s independence in 1960 by Lillian Jean Williams (lyrics) and Frances Berda (music), was dropped in 1978 by the Olusegun Obasanjo military regime in favor of “Arise, O Compatriots”. With President Tinubu’s endorsement, “Nigeria, we hail thee” has now supplanted the anthem used since 1978.

In his address at the joint session of the National Assembly commemorating the Silver Jubilee of Nigeria’s 4th Republic, President Tinubu emphasized the anthem’s significance in representing Nigeria’s diversity and promoting national unity. The new anthem was sung upon Tinubu’s arrival at the National Assembly.

However, the decision has sparked outrage among some Nigerians, who argue that the government’s priorities should be addressing the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, insecurity, and other pressing issues facing the country. Critics have also questioned the timing and the hasty passage of the bill.

Photo Of The Borehole Peter Obi Donated To Zaria

Despite the criticism, the chairman of the parliamentary committee responsible for pushing the bill, Tahir Mongunu, defended the decision, stating it was “apt, timely and important” and would inspire patriotism and promote cultural heritage. Some Nigerians, like Habu Shamsu from Kano, have expressed support for the change, finding the new anthem more encompassing and flowing.

As the debate continues, it remains to be seen how the reintroduction of the old national anthem will impact Nigeria’s national identity and unity in the years to come.

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