President Bola Tinubu signed the National Anthem Bill 2024 into law on Wednesday, May 29, marking a significant shift in Nigeria’s national identity.

The bill reinstates “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” as the country’s national anthem, replacing the now-recognized “Arise, O Compatriots.”

The reversion to the original anthem, which was used from independence in 1960 until 1978, has generated considerable discussion and varied reactions among Nigerians.

This change reflects a return to Nigeria’s historical roots and evokes nostalgia among those who remember the anthem from its early days.

However, it has also sparked debate about national identity and the relevance of reintroducing an anthem written by a British expatriate.

Here are key points about the old national anthem “Nigeria, We Hail Thee”:

1.Historical Usage: “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” was the national anthem from independence in 1960 until 1978.

2.Replacement in 1978: In 1978, “Arise, O Compatriots” was adopted, replacing “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

3.Adoption Date: The first national anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” was officially adopted on October 1, 1960.

4.Lyricist: The lyrics were penned by Lillian Jean Williams, a British expatriate residing in Nigeria during its independence.

5.Composer: Frances Berda composed the music for “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

6.Legislative Action: The House of Representatives passed the bill to revert to “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” on May 23, 2024, leading to its final assent by President Tinubu.



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