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Nigeria’s National Assembly Passes Bill to Change National Anthem, Citizens Are Outraged

President Tinubu, marking his first year in office signed the bill into law on Wednesday saying the anthem symbolised Nigeria's diversity

Some Nigerian citizens are outraged after the country’s legislative body yesterday passed a bill changing the national anthem back to an old one that the military government dropped in 1978. President Tinubu, marking his first year in office signed the bill into law on Wednesday saying the anthem symbolised Nigeria’s diversity.

The newly re-adopted anthem, which begins “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” was written by Lillian Jean Williams, a British expatriate residing in Nigeria in 1959, until it was replaced in 1978 to the “Arise O Compatriots” which has been used by Nigerians for more than 46 years now.

“The bill is in tandem with the spirit of unity. It will undoubtedly inspire a zeal for patriotism and cooperation. It will promote cultural heritage. Changing the national anthem will chart a path to greater unity,” Tahir Mongunu one of the senators who supported the legislation is quoted by local media to have said.

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But many Nigerians seemed flustered by the changes, calling it an unnecessary endeavour

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On social media, Oby Ezekwesili, a former Education Minister said she would never sing the new-old anthem.

“Let it be known to all and sundry that I, Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili shall whenever asked to sing the Nigerian National Anthem [will] sing,” she wrote on X.

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Another X user called the anthem change a misplaced priority, saying the country had more pressing issues to deal with.

Misplaced priority……..while the British business centre is wallowing in poverty and insecurity. What is the benefit of the new national anthem to the lives of people. Nigeria is a joke.


Other X users had also shared a video from 2011, where Tinubu, had shown a preference for the older national anthem to be renewed, and specifically called for a national referendum to potentially reinstate the “Arise O Compatriots” anthem.


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