Tinubu Signs Bill Returning Old Anthem Into Law

During a joint session of the National Assembly celebrating the Silver Jubilee of Nigeria’s 4th Republic, Senate President Godswill Akpabio announced that President Bola Tinubu signed into law the National Anthem 2024, marking the official adoption of the new national anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

Tinubu later confirmed this change during his participation in the session. Akpabio clarified that the purpose of the sitting was to launch the new anthem, as the President had to leave for the launch of the Abuja metro line and would not be delivering a speech.

The legislation to replace the previous anthem, “Arise, O Compatriots,” with “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” had been passed separately by the Senate and the House of Representatives. With the President’s signing, the joint session adopted the former national anthem, which had been in use since Nigeria’s independence in 1960.

The old anthem, penned by Lillian Jean Williams and composed by Frances Berda, played a significant role in shaping Nigeria’s national identity and unity during its early years.

The lyrics:

Nigeria, we hail thee,
Our own dear native land,
Though tribe and tongue may differ,
In brotherhood, we stand,
Nigerians all, and proud to serve
Our sovereign Motherland.

Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice reign,
In peace or battle honour’d,
And this we count as gain,
To hand on to our children
A banner without stain.

O God of all creation,
Grant this our one request,
Help us to build a nation
Where no man is oppressed,
And so with peace and plenty
Nigeria may be blessed. 

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