Thursday, 20 June 2024 04:48

There wouldn’t have been banditry in Nigeria, if the old, now new, national anthem had been retained – Akpabio

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Senate President Godswill Akpabio asserted that reinstating the old national anthem would foster patriotism and help tackle insecurity in Nigeria. Addressing the Senate plenary in Abuja on Wednesday, Akpabio highlighted the potential benefits of the new anthem.

He remarked, “The student loan and scholarship program bill, submitted by President Bola Tinubu, aims to help underprivileged Nigerian students access higher education. Over 30,000 students have already been selected to benefit from this initiative, which I find particularly compelling.”

Akpabio further explained the historical context of the national anthem, stating, “In 1959, a panel of Nigerians collected global input to create the anthem ‘Nigeria, we hail thee.’ Critics should understand this history before calling it a colonial anthem. Had we retained this anthem, banditry might have been avoided because it encourages seeing neighbours as brothers, thus preventing violence.”

Recently, the Federal Government unveiled the approved version of Nigeria’s reintroduced national anthem. Lanre Issa-Onilu, Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), presented the standardized version in Abuja, urging citizens to focus on specific lines of the anthem.

On May 29, 2024, marking the one-year anniversary of his administration, President Bola Tinubu signed the National Anthem Bill 2024. This legislation reinstates the old anthem, "Nigeria, we hail thee," replacing "Arise, O Compatriots." Tinubu emphasized that the anthem symbolizes the nation's diversity and unity.

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