Senate Begins Public Hearing on Bill to Reinstate Old National Anthem

Senate Commences Public Hearing on Act to Reinstate Old National Anthem

The Senate has initiated a public hearing on an Act aimed at reinstating the old national anthem of Nigeria and addressing related matters.

Senate Leader Opeyemi Bamidele, representing the President of the Senate at the hearing, stated that the second stanza of the current national anthem should serve as the national prayer. He also mentioned that further consultations might be necessary.

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, emphasized that any amendment should involve extensive public consultation to reflect the true wishes of all Nigerians. He noted that while the reversal is not out of place, a broader process is essential.

Senior Advocate of Nigeria Mike Ozekhome highlighted the importance of addressing oppression in the national anthem. He supported the Director-General of the National Orientation Agency’s view that the anthem change is overdue. Ozekhome recalled proposing the change a decade ago at the 2014 CONFAB, where it received wide support from the 490 delegates.

Ozekhome criticized the current Nigerian flag as uninspiring and suggested renaming the country to “Iregime” to shed historical burdens, a change similar to those made in countries like The Netherlands, Pakistan, and South Africa.


He argued that a national referendum is crucial to addressing the country’s issues comprehensively, rather than merely amending the constitution.

Last week, the Senate saw a bill seeking to revert to the old national anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” pass its second reading. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters for further consideration, with a report expected in two weeks.

The House of Representatives has already passed the bill.

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