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On Nigeria’s national anthem

“Nigeria we hail thee,” was the first National Anthem of Nigeria (1960 – 1978). I was a physical eye-witness in 1960, when the union jack…

“Nigeria we hail thee,” was the first National Anthem of Nigeria (1960 – 1978). I was a physical eye-witness in 1960, when the union jack was lowed forever and the green white green flag of Nigeria spread out for the first time about 12:10 A.M of October 1, 1960. It was the most colorful scene that may not appear again on the horizon of Nigeria.

The fireworks that followed were unprecedented. It was joy trekking from race course now Tafawa Balewa Square to Abule-Nla road, Ebute Meta. Lagos Island to Mainland was a beauty of light to behold.

The first National Anthem of Nigeria was changed in 1978 to “Arise o compatriots,” and we are still singing that to the present moment.

Thank God, none of those agitating for the restructuring of Nigeria ever mentioned a change of the National Anthem.

Per harps, I am a lone ranger when it comes to Nigeria general attitude to our National Anthem. I remember, sending an E-mail to Governor Raji Fasola in 2013, when he was then the Governor of Lagos State on that issue.

My question is, “why do we always sing just a verse of the short two stanzas that made our National Anthem at public functions or occasion?”

The second verse of our National Anthem is the ‘Glory’ of the Anthem.

It says, “O God of creation, direct our Noble cause, Guide our leaders’ right, and Help our youth to know; In love and honesty to grow, and live in just and peace, great lofty height attains to build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.”

That is the only verse of the two stanzas where God is mentioned. But Nigerian leaders have refused without any sense of respect for God to honor God by singing that last verse.

No wonder, Fulani herdsman, Boko Haram and kidnappers are on the prowl as it appears satan has taken control over the nation called Nigeria.

I am using this write – up to appeal to the Nigeria Army, Navy, Air force and Police bands to always play the full National Anthem on functions or occasions.

Dr. Sunday O. Ajai, Abuja

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