Reps Pass Bill To Revert To Old National Anthem ‘Nigeria We Hail Thee’

Reps Pass Bill To Revert To Old National Anthem 'Nigeria We Hail Thee'

The House of Representatives has passed a Bill into law to revert to the old national anthem ‘Nigeria, We Hail Thee…’ and discard the present one, ‘Arise O’ Compatriots’.

Sponsored by the House Leader, Hon. Julius Ihonvbere, the bill, which was speedily passed through second reading, was considered and thereafter approved at the Committee of the Whole and passed for third reading at plenary

The legislation titled, “Bill For An Act to Provide for the National Anthem of Nigeria, and for Matters Related Thereto”, stipulates that on the date of commencement of the Bill, the national anthem of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” which is prescribed in the Schedule to the proposed legislation.

According to the bill, the national anthem of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a national symbol and sign of authority, and all persons, individuals or corporate entities, shall respect the national anthem and preserve the dignity of the national anthem.

The proposed legislation provided that the national anthem shall be performed and sung on occasions such as: opening and closing ceremonies of Federal Executive Council, and State Executive Council meetings, opening and closing of sittings of Legislative Houses in Nigeria and Constitutional oath-swearing ceremonies.

Others are: “Major celebrations, major award ceremonies, major commemorative ceremonies, national memorial ceremonies and the like, which are organised by MDAs, major diplomatic activities, major sporting events, other occasions as may from time to time, be determined by the minister responsible for education with the consent of the President.”

It stated that the performance and singing of the national anthem shall follow the lyrics prescribed by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The new law prescribed that when the national anthem is performed and sung, “those present shall stand and deport respectfully, and
(b) at flag-raising ceremonies, those present shall face the flag, and uniformed military personnel, Police and other Security personnel are to give a hand salute, and other persons are to look on in respect.

“The Ministry responsible for information shall organize the review and approval of the standard for performance of the national anthem, and record the official recording of the national anthem to be played. The standard and official recorded versions of the national anthem shall be published on the Federal Government of Nigeria’s website.

“Primary and Secondary schools shall make the lyrics of the national anthem part of the civic education and organise pupils and students to learn the national anthem.The second stanza of the former national anthem shall be the national prayer,” the bill reads further.

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