Senate passes bill reverting to old National Anthem, “Nigeria We Hail Thee”

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The Senate has passed a Bill to revert to the old National Anthem with the title, “Nigeria We Hail Thee”.

The passage followed report of the Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, and Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs.

While presenting the report on the bill titled, National Anthem Bill, 2024(SB.461), Sen. Tahir Monguno, Chairman Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, said the joint committee met with various stakeholders in a public hearing to discuss the bill.

He said the move to pass the bill was in line with the mandate given to the Legislature by the 1999 Constitution, adding that it had followed necessary procedures required for passing a bill.

Monguno said the bill had passed first and second reading, went through public hearing as required by law and could be passed without contravening the Constitution.

He said “what the passage of this bill would do is to give legal framework to the national anthem.

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“Before now it did not have the backing of law so that it can bark and bite.”

Monguno, who said the national anthem, which was being given legal backup for the first time in the history of Nigeria, would be treated with the respect it deserved.

The senate thereafter dissolved into the Committee of the Whole to consider the long title of the bill, clauses, interpretation, short title, schedule and explanatory memorandum.

The bill was subsequently passed.

In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, commended the committees and all those that contributed to the passage of the bill.

The bill seeking to revert to “Nigeria We Hail Thee” was equally passed in the House of Representatives.

Both bills from the Upper and Lower Chambers are expected to be harmonised and transmitted to the President for assent.

If passed into law, “Nigeria We Hail Thee” which was stopped in 1978 by the then Military Regime Under Olusegun Obasanjo, will replace the current anthem, “Arise O Compatriot”.

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The lyrics of “Nigeria We Hail Thee”was out yogether by a British National, Lillian Jen Williams in 1959 while the music was composed by Frances Berda.

The anthem was in use between 1960 and 1978.

Below is the old national anthem that has been approved by the Senate.

Nigeria we hail thee

Nigeria we hail thee
Our own dear native land
Though tribes and tongue may differ
In brotherhood we stand
Nigerians all, are proud to serve
Our sovereign Motherland.

Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice reign
In peace or battle honour’d,
And this we count as gain,
To hand on to our children
A banner without stain.

O God of all creation
Grant this our one request.
Help us to build a nation
Where no man is oppressed
And so with peace and plenty
Nigeria may be blessed.

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