HomePolitics TodayHouse of Representatives Rushes Bill to Reinstate Old National Anthem

House of Representatives Rushes Bill to Reinstate Old National Anthem

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By Fasuyi Tolulope Samuel

In a swift legislative move, the House of Representatives has approved a bill to revert to Nigeria’s old national anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.” The bill, introduced and debated by House Leader Professor Julius Ihonvbere, passed through its first, second, and third readings within minutes.
Professor Ihonvbere argued that the old anthem represents a national symbol and a sign of authority that acknowledges Nigeria’s realities. He emphasized that reverting to “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” would instill a sense of pride and unity among Nigerians.
The old anthem, which was replaced in 1978 by “Arise, O Compatriots,” was authored and composed by British nationals. This historical context led to opposition from Minority Leader Kingsley Chinda, who contended that the old anthem carried a colonial tag. Chinda questioned the timing of the bill, highlighting the nation’s more pressing issues.
Despite the opposition, the bill was expedited and passed by the lawmakers. The Senate also showed strong support for the measure, with the bill passing its first and second readings. It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters, which is expected to report back in two weeks.
Proponents in the Senate argued that the old anthem would serve as a better symbol of unity, peace, and prosperity compared to the current anthem. The bill’s passage marks a significant legislative decision aimed at reinforcing national identity and unity.

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