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House of Reps Passes Bill To Restore Old National Anthem

On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a bill proposing the return to the old national anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” which was replaced by the current anthem, “Arise, O Compatriots,” in 1987.

Leading the debate in favor of reverting to the old anthem, Julius Ihonvbere argued for the importance of patriotism and nationalism. He emphasized the need for Nigerians to view the anthem as a national symbol and a sign of authority, one that acknowledges the nation’s realities.

Conversely, Minority Leader Kingsley Chinda of the People’s Democratic Party argued against the bill, noting that the old anthem’s colonial heritage is inappropriate for a post-independence Nigeria. He highlighted that the old anthem was authored and composed by Britons and questioned the relevance of changing the anthem amid more pressing national challenges. His view was supported by Ahmad Satomi, representing the Jere Federal Constituency in Borno State.

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However, lawmaker Ahmed Jaha supported the bill, asserting that the wording of the current anthem lacks substance in the context of Nigeria’s state affairs. Senators appeared largely unanimous in their support, arguing that the old anthem symbolizes peace and prosperity more effectively than the current one.

The bill passed its second and third readings on the floor of the House during a plenary session in Abuja within minutes. It will now be sent to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters for concurrence before being forwarded to the president for assent.

Techrectory with Agency Report.

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