JUST IN: Reps pass bill to revert to old National Anthem


House of Representatives

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

The House of Representatives has passed a bill requiring the nation to revert to the old national anthem composed by Nigeria’s colonial master, Britain.

There were some opposition on the floor of the House when the bill was passed that the nation should revert to the old National Anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

The old National Anthem was written by Lillian Jean Williams, composed by Frances Berda and sung between 1960 and 1978.

The bill was sponsored by the Majority Leader of the House, Julius Ihonvbere.

It scaled through the first, second and third reading on Thursday amidst opposition from some lawmakers.

Lyrics of the old National Anthem below:

Nigeria we hail thee

Our own dear native land

Though tribes and tongue may differ

In brotherhood we stand

Nigerians all, are proud to serve

Our sovereign Motherland.

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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.

When “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” was first announced, the new national anthem faced criticism for a number of reasons. The Daily Service, a newspaper run by the Yoruba organisation Egbé Ọmọ Odùduwà, started a rebellious campaign against the national anthem, which led to a committee being established to collect signatures as a petition.

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