Some Nigerians are upset over the National Anthem Return Movement (NASS)

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In a surprising turn of events, a bill to restore the country’s original national anthem was introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives on Thursday, and it swiftly passed all three readings that same day, shocking Nigerians.

Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, joined other prominent figures in Monday’s chorus denouncing the bill’s hasty approval that would alter the national anthem.

Legislative discussion alone should not be used to implement the law governing the National Anthem, he urged the National Assembly.

At a one-day public hearing on a bill to restore to Nigeria’s previous national anthem, the AGF made this statement.

The Senators’ attitude is at odds with the AGF’s position.

According to Fagbemi, the worldwide norm for properly consulting the people before passing a legislation establishing a national anthem is a plebiscite or referendum.

According to him, there are instances where the national anthem is chosen through citizen-led contests. Sometimes, before a national anthem is adopted or declared, it is put to a vote in a referendum or plebiscite.

All of the above boils down to winning over the public and making sure the anthem reflects their hopes and dreams while also fitting well with the social and political climate of today.

In light of the above, I have come to the well-considered conclusion that the sacred matter of selecting a national object should not be initiated only via legislative decree or presidential proclamation.

“Accordingly, I believe that a more extensive public process involving zonal public hearings, resolutions of the Federal Executive Council, Council of State National, and State Assemblies should be established for the purpose of electing a new national anthem for Nigeria or revising the current one.

“The will of the Nigerian people, as expressed through this process, will undoubtedly prevail.”

Similarly, Alhaji Mohammed Idris Malagi, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, suggested broadening the focus beyond just the national anthem to incorporate a strong theme on national identity.

On behalf of the Minister, Mr. Lanre Issa-Onilu, Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), pointed out that the previous national anthem has phrases that do not entirely make sense.

A small subset of the population is concerned with the national anthem. The National Identity Act is the proper document to examine.

We have a problem on our hands because we don’t respect national identity, which includes things like the anthem. Singing at school is not the issue, he said; what matters is learning and internalizing it.

While Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, cautioned the National Assembly against hasty bill passage, he also urged more consultations so that Nigerians could embrace and support the proposed national anthem.

He thinks the National Assembly should include more people in the process of creating this kind of Act so it can get widespread support.

But he was on board with switching out “Arise, O Compatriots” for “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” the national anthem that the nation first sang in October 1960.

He stated that this change was long needed because the present national anthem, which was established in 1978, lacks the necessary solemnity and is unable to inspire Nigerians to feel a strong sense of national pride.

Considering that more than twenty nations—including Russia, Austria, Chile, France, Saudi Arabia, China, Brazil, Iran, Iraq, etc.—have done so at various points in history, he claims that Nigeria will not be the first nation to reinstate its previous national anthem.

Maxi Okwu, a former national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), is among those who have expressed extreme outrage at the incident.

He went along with the sentiment that lawmakers have sidetracked crucial discussions on the economic crisis and insecurity that have pushed millions of Nigerians into extreme poverty in favor of a divisive subject that would not lead to a better country.

He said the MPs’ actions demonstrated apathy and a lack of concentration. They have time for such distracting pursuits since the matter at hand is so unimportant. It astounds me that the Bill passed all three readings on the same day.

Consider the seriousness of the situation in the country. There is widespread rage, frustration, and starvation, and yet politicians are preoccupied with the national anthem. The group has totally lost its way,” he told 460PLAY.

Legislators are behaving like clowns, according to entrepreneur Adebowale Wifred.

They have just chosen to focus on appearances rather than substance. “But, why are we acting this way?” he said.

Furthermore, he believes that Nigeria is currently facing a myriad of problems, including economic, religious, and security-related ones. These issues have caused immense hardship for millions of Nigerians, and he is disappointed that lawmakers have decided to ignore these problems in favor of demanding the return of the old national anthem.

“Will it provide sustenance for any Nigerian family?” In what ways will it put an end to the widespread banditry, abduction, and wanton bloodshed? For the love of God, can’t we take our nation seriously?

“With the country on the brink of collapse, politicians in Nigeria are preoccupied with finding a way to reinstate the ancient national song. There is an emergency food crisis in Nigeria, people are starving to death, criminals are riding roughshod over Nigerians, Fulani herders have stopped farmers from going to work the land, and our MPs refuse to do anything about it.

Their main issue is figuring out how to bring back the former national anthem. “We are finished in this country,” he told DAILY POST in an interview.

A social worker named Mrs. Vivian James also responded to the news by endorsing the legislation.

She thinks the present national song fails to bring Nigerians together as much as the old one did.

In my opinion, the legislators are correct. With the words “though tribe and tongue may differ; in brotherhood we stand” added to the traditional national song, it becomes a more powerful tool for bringing Nigerians together.

There are many different languages spoken by the numerous different ethnic groups that make up Nigeria. Therefore, the nation requires a song that fosters togetherness in all its forms, and I believe the ancient national song is perfectly suitable for that purpose.

“At this critical juncture, our nation needs a national anthem that promotes unity in diversity, yet our existing selection falls short in that regard. So, I’m on board with the plan to play the old song again,” she said.

Legislators in Nigeria are failing to meet the expectations of the people, according to lawyer Marcellus Onah.

He thinks the Nigerian government should be providing long-term answers to the various problems that plague the country through law, but instead, they have utterly neglected these crucial matters that may improve people’s lives.

“What is the point of our conversation?” Why is the national anthem being brought up as an issue in modern-day Nigeria? People in Nigeria are going hungry because the Naira has lost all of its purchasing power due to the country’s extreme inflation.

Violence between farmers and herders, kidnappings, and the Boko Haram insurgency are just a few examples of the pervasive insecurity in the world today.

Legislators are squandering their time and resources on meaningless national anthems while corruption is nearly destroying the economy and the nation.

I simply don’t understand how singing the old national song will put an end to the systemic corruption that seems to be becoming the norm. What effect would that have on the country’s currency rate, which has driven up the cost of almost all imported goods in Nigeria—including those made domestically?

How is that going to address the country’s food crisis? In what ways will it address the problem of insecurity, which has impacted the lives of nearly every Nigerian today?

“Our lawmakers need to be informed that Nigerians are going through a tough time, and they need to pass laws that help the people right now,” he said.

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