President Tinubu signs bill reintroducing old anthem into law

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    nairametrics.com

    President Bola Tinubu has signed the National Anthem Bill 2024, restoring the old national anthem, “Nigeria, we hail thee.”

    Senate President Godswill Akpabio announced this on Wednesday during a joint session of the National Assembly commemorating the Silver Jubilee of Nigeria’s 4th Republic.

    The event also marked the first anniversary of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

     

    Tinubu, attending the joint session later, endorsed “Nigeria, we hail thee” as the “new national anthem.”

    In his welcome address, the President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio said the President only stopped over to greet the lawmakers since he came to Commission the National Assembly Library.

    Akpabio explained that the session was primarily held to introduce the updated national anthem, noting that the President would not deliver a speech as he needed to depart to inaugurate the Abuja metro line.

    On his part, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, apologized for the misinformation earlier passed on the visit of the President said it was a mistake on the part of the National Assembly and he apologized about it.

    “The president has said that what ever speech we have to give should be shifted to June 12 which is democracy day, so to this effect the president will come flag off the recitation of the new National anthem after giving accent to it and will the after proceed to other important engagement.”

    Backstory

    The Senate and the House of Representatives had earlier approved the bill to change the national anthem from “Arise, O Compatriots” to “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” during separate sessions.

    With the President’s endorsement of the bill to reinstate the old national anthem, the joint session discarded the anthem that had been used since 1978, adopting the original “Nigeria, we hail thee” as the official anthem.

    The anthem “Nigeria, we hail thee,” originally composed for Nigeria’s independence on October 1, 1960, has now supplanted “Arise, O Compatriots.”

    Lillian Jean Williams, a British expatriate who lived in Nigeria during its independence, penned the lyrics for “Nigeria, we hail thee,” while Frances Berda composed the music.

    The anthem played a significant role in shaping Nigeria’s national identity and unity during the 1960s and late 1970s.

    Lyrics of the Now New National 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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