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Nigeria Senate passes National Anthem Bill 2024

Boom RadioNG | May 28, 2024

The Nigerian Senate has passed the National Anthem Bill 2024 set to revert to the old national anthem, “Nigeria, we hail thee”.

The bill, which speedily passed first and second readings in the red chamber  last Thursday, now awaits assent into law by President Bola Tinubu after been passed by the house of representatives.

The National Assembly passed legislation to swap the current national anthem from “Arise, O Compatriots” to the previous one “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”, composed when Nigeria gained independence on October 1, 1960.

On Monday, the Senate began a public hearing on an Act to provide for the National Anthem of Nigeria and related matters.

Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele, who represented the President of the Senate Godswill Akpabio at the hearing, said the second stanza of the existing national anthem shall be the national prayer.

Nigeria Senate Plenary session 2023 photo credit Tope Brown

The bill seeks to revive the anthem that was dropped in 1978 during Olusegun Obasanjo’s military administration.

Lillian Jean Williams, a British expatriate who lived in Nigeria during its independence wrote the lyrics for “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” and Frances Berda composed the music. The anthem played a significant role in shaping Nigeria’s national identity and unity during the 1960s till the late 1970s.

However, for the old anthem to be returned and effective, the bill will have to be harmonised by the two chambers of the National Assembly and then assented by the President.

Written by Boom RadioNG

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