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Nigerian celebrities react to new national anthem

President Bola Tinubu recently signed the bill on the reintroduction of the old national anthem, ‘Nigeria we hail thee’. The development has, however, sparked a…

President Bola Tinubu recently signed the bill on the reintroduction of the old national anthem, ‘Nigeria we hail thee’. The development has, however, sparked a wave of reactions on social media, with several Nigerians, including celebrities, registering their displeasure. Weekend Magazine writes.

‘Nigeria we hail thee’ was the national anthem sang from 1960 to 1978. It was written by British expatriate, Lilian Jean Williams and the tune composed by Frances Berda. However, in 1978, ‘Arise, O Compatriots’ composed by Benedict Odiase was adopted.

On May 23, 2024, the House of Representatives passed the bill for the nation to revert back to the old anthem, and the Senate followed suit during a public hearing on Tuesday.

The recent news has triggered a flurry of social media reactions, with many Nigerians, including celebrities and renowned personalities, suggesting that the government ought to prioritise critical problems like insecurity, unemployment and economic hardship.

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, Nigerian artist Joeboy questioned how changing the national anthem was of priority to the public. He said, “Of all the problems Nigerians have to deal with, changing the national anthem is priority? Okay now.”

Another artist, Teniola Apata took to X to express how much she will miss the former anthem. She wrote, “Arise, o compatriots, I’ll miss you, thank you for so many childhood memories. Till we meet again, love SM.”

Nollywood actress Kate Henshaw didn’t hold back in condemning the federal government’s decision. The actress took to X posting, “In the midst of extraordinary hardship and lack of good governance on every level but not to worry, going back to a colonial anthem will be a soothing balm and inject patriotism back into our veins, a much-needed drug.”

The actress also fired another shot as she reposted another X user’s post, which reads, “Nigeria has seriously warped priorities. How does the national anthem have any bearing on the difficulties and issues we are facing right now? Nigeria we really hail”

Popular figure Charly Boy also lent his voice to the trending news calling it a ‘misplaced priority’ on the federal government’s part. The socialite made an Instagram post saying “Misplaced priorities, incompetence, greed and the almighty CORRUPTION can never be covered up by false propaganda. My people, Wetin dey worry us pass for dis country, HUNGER or NATIONAL ANTHEM?”

Big brother star Pere Egbi also expressed confusion as he questions the reason for the sudden change of the national anthem. On Instagram, the former housemate wrote, “What’s the reason for this? And who wrote the old anthem?”

While some celebrities expressed genuine displeasure with the national anthem change, some took the route of being humorous with their opinions.

An Adekunle Gold fan post had earlier posted on X saying, “In my opinion, our President should just pay Adekunle Gold and adopt his new song ‘Rodo’ as our national anthem. We have seen enough of it.”

Ironically, the singer responded saying “That one sef dey.” The singer also went on to write, “No one thought Timi Dakolo’s Great Nation makes a better anthem?”

Nollywood actor Chinedu Ikedieze comically asked if the federal government wouldn’t mind considering new colours for the national flag. The actor wrote, Can we also add some other colours to the green white green?”

Popular comedian I Go Save also urged the government to restore Nigeria to its previous state of prosperity when goods were more affordable as it had restored the old national anthem.

He wrote, “Since Una don bring back old national anthem, can you people bring back our old solar price, old fuel prices, old flight prompt operating style, old taxation, old security standards et al?”

Radio presenter and media personality, Osi-Suave, says “Inflation is at 33% but na national anthem be your priority. It’s insanity at this point.”

Media and fashion personality Noble Igwe also expressed his annoyance as he wrote, Exchange rate is sky rocketing, cost of living is so high, insecurity in many parts of the country but one year in office, however, let’s change the national anthem. This is so sad and shameful.

Although all celebrities are against the reintroduction of the old anthem, Nigerian artist Brymo Olawale solemnly stands with the presidents decision.

In a lengthy post on Instagram, the artist expressed his solidarity with the President, saying, “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is officially my G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) of all the Nigerian presidents! Read the lyrics of the new national anthem. The first stanza is all you need; it asserts Nigeria for the motherland and now Africa can be the fatherland and be a symbol of polygamy and we can all focus on one family unit. My favourite part is ‘In brotherhood, we stand.’ We are all now members of the greatest cult on earth. Nigeria is now the only brotherhood that every boy and ambitious girl must belong to in this country. I am very happy.”

In summary, these comments show that Nigerian celebrities are calling on the government to prioritise urgent issues of concern. Despite humour and online banter, the ongoing conversations show a shared desire for genuine action to address the country’s difficulties.


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