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Senate okays revert to old national anthem

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.As bill scales final reading

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The Senate has passed the National Anthem Bill 2024 to revert to the old national anthem, “Nigeria, we hail thee”.

The bill, which passed first and second readings on Thursday, now awaits assent into law by President Bola Tinubu.

The Senate passed legislation to swap the national anthem from “Arise, O Compatriots” to “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.” The old anthem, composed when Nigeria gained independence on October 1, 1960, will replace the current anthem.

The bill seeks to revive the anthem that was dropped in 1978 during Olusegun Obasanjo’s military administration.

Senate Leader Opeyemi Bamidele emphasised the anthem’s impact: “Upon rendition, it inspired deep patriotism among Nigerians. Those who lived through that era recognise its crucial role in our nation’s history, evoking nostalgia and fond memories of our early years.”

On Monday, the Senate began a public hearing on an Act to provide for the National Anthem of Nigeria and related matters.

Bamidele, who represented the President of the Senate Godswill Akpabio at the hearing, said the second stanza of the existing national anthem shall be the national prayer.

Last week, the bill seeking to make a provision for Nigeria to revert to its old national anthem “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” scaled through a second reading at the Senate before it was eventually passed on Tuesday.

The House of Representatives has passed the bill.

For the return to the old anthem to take effect, the bill will have to be harmonised by the two chambers and get the President’s nod.

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