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Tinubu Bans ‘Arise O Compatriots’, Reinstates 1960’s National Anthem ‘Nigeria We Hail Thee

In a significant change to Nigeria’s national symbols, President Bola Tinubu has signed the National Anthem Bill 2024 into law, replacing the current national anthem, “Arise O Compatriots,” with “Nigeria We Hail Thee.” This anthem was originally adopted at Nigeria’s independence in 1960 but was replaced by the military government in 1978.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio announced the change on Wednesday during a joint session of the National Assembly, held to mark 25 years of uninterrupted democracy in Nigeria. The event also coincided with the first anniversary of President Tinubu’s administration.

“This morning, Mr. President signed into an Act of Parliament, the newly passed National Anthem 2024,” Akpabio stated, highlighting the official return to the historic anthem. He added that the session aimed to launch the new national anthem and noted that President Tinubu would not be delivering a speech as he had to attend the launch of the Abuja metro line.

Benjamin Kalu, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, encouraged lawmakers and visitors to download the new anthem.

President Tinubu later joined the session, confirming the anthem’s reinstatement before leading the assembly in singing “Nigeria We Hail Thee.” This anthem, cherished by many for its historical significance, was initially introduced in 1960 but banned during the regime of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1978.

The decision to revert to “Nigeria We Hail Thee” has sparked mixed reactions across the country. Supporters argue that the change honors Nigeria’s historical roots and independence, while critics suggest it distracts from more pressing national issues.

As Nigeria reflects on 25 years of democracy, the reinstatement of this anthem serves as a reminder of the country’s journey and the evolving narrative of its national identity.

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