Controversy Erupts as Nigeria Reverts to Old National Anthem

The decision, made without extensive consultation, has ignited a firestorm of debate across the nation. President Tinubu defended the decision, stating that the anthem symbolizes Nigeria's diversity and cultural heritage.

In a move that has sparked widespread controversy and public outcry, Nigerian President Bola Tinubu signed into law a bill restoring the country’s national anthem to its pre-1978 version.

The decision, made without extensive consultation, has ignited a firestorm of debate across the nation.

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The newly re-adopted anthem, beginning with the phrase “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” was penned by Lillian Jean Williams in 1959 and composed by Frances Berda.

President Tinubu defended the decision, stating that the anthem symbolizes Nigeria’s diversity and cultural heritage.

However, many citizens have expressed outrage, questioning the government’s priorities amidst pressing issues such as insecurity, rising inflation, and a foreign exchange crisis.

Reacting online, Nigerians have voiced their discontent with the decision. @Gospel_rxx tweeted, “Is a new national anthem a priority for Tinubu & Co at a time like this?

What a sordid joke!!” Others, like Fola Folayan, criticized the parliamentary process, labeling the decision as “shameful” and questioning the abandonment of an anthem written by a Nigerian in favor of one penned by colonizers.

Former Education Minister Oby Ezekwesili took a defiant stance, declaring that she would refuse to sing the new-old anthem, instead opting to recite the familiar words of “Arise O Compatriots,” which had been the anthem for the past 46 years.

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The controversy has even extended to discussions about national identity, with some advocating for a complete overhaul, including changing the name of the country and its national flag.

Former presidential aide Bashir Ahmad sparked further debate by raising the question of whether Nigeria should retain its current name.

Despite the backlash, Tahir Mongunu, chairman of the parliamentary committee behind the bill, defended the decision, describing it as “apt, timely, and important.”

He argued that the change would inspire patriotism, promote cultural heritage, and foster greater unity among Nigerians.

While critics decry the move as a misguided diversion from more pressing issues, some citizens, like Kano resident Habu Shamsu, express support for the change, appreciating its inclusivity and aesthetic appeal.

As the debate rages on, one thing remains clear: Nigeria’s decision to revert to its old national anthem has ignited a passionate discussion about national identity, cultural heritage, and the priorities of its leadership in the face of pressing challenges.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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