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House of Representatives Passes Bill to Reinstate ‘Nigeria, We Hail Thee’ as National Anthem

May 23, 2024




In a historic move, the House of Representatives has passed a bill to revert to Nigeria’s old national anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” discarding the current anthem, “Arise O’ Compatriots.” The bill, sponsored by House Leader Hon. Julius Ihonvbere, quickly progressed through its second reading, was considered and approved at the Committee of the Whole, and subsequently passed for a third reading during a plenary session.

Titled “Bill For An Act to Provide for the National Anthem of Nigeria, and for Matters Related Thereto,” the legislation mandates that upon its commencement, the national anthem of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will officially be “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.” The bill underscores the anthem as a national symbol and a sign of authority, requiring all individuals and corporate entities to respect and preserve its dignity.

The bill specifies various occasions where the national anthem must be performed and sung, including:
– Opening and closing ceremonies of Federal Executive Council and State Executive Council meetings
– Opening and closing of sittings of Legislative Houses in Nigeria
– Constitutional oath-swearing ceremonies
– Major celebrations and award ceremonies
– Major commemorative and national memorial ceremonies organized by Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs)
– Major diplomatic activities and sporting events
– Any other occasions as determined by the Minister of Education with the President’s consent

The bill prescribes that the performance and singing of the national anthem should adhere to the lyrics set by the Federal Government of Nigeria. During performances, all present are required to stand respectfully, and at flag-raising ceremonies, individuals must face the flag. Uniformed military personnel, police, and other security personnel are to salute, while civilians are to look on respectfully.

The Ministry of Information is tasked with organizing the review and approval of the performance standards for the national anthem and recording the official version to be played. This official version will be published on the Federal Government’s website.

Furthermore, the bill mandates that primary and secondary schools incorporate the lyrics of the national anthem into civic education and ensure that pupils and students learn the anthem. It also designates the second stanza of “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” as the national prayer.



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