• Friday, June 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Changing Nigeria’s national anthem is my priority – Tinubu defends

In search of trees: 365 days into Tinubu’s government

In what has become a controversial issue, President Bola Tinubu has cleared the minds of Nigerians that changing the “Arise O Compatriot” anthem to the old “Nigeria we hail thee” is one of his priorities.

Tinubu made this confirmation during a meeting with the Arewa Consultative Forum at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday.

The president pushed back against criticism, asserting that the reintroduction of the old national anthem is a valid priority, contrary to claims that it was a misplaced one.

President Tinubu stirred a controversy having signed a bill reinstating the former national anthem which was widely condemned partly because it was composed by a Briton as against the indigenous one.

“Let me allude to something that happened yesterday. The change of national anthem, ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’.

“Some people say is that your priority? It’s my priority. I agree with the National Assembly. If they make law, I’ve got to obey that law, or we disagree openly and close the chapter.

“But the question of diversity. Who gave us the name Nigeria? Is it not Britain? Or somewhere? Have we changed our name? We are Nigerians. Our passport shows that.

“As long as we are Nigerians and one family, we remain and protect our diversity and love one another as brothers and sisters,” Tinubu said.

Since May 29 that the bill was signed into law, it has generated heated debate with people taking sides for or against the move.

The president’s assent came at a time when Nigerians are going through economic hardship occasioned by the removal of the fuel subsidy regime and the subsequent devaluation of the naira twice.

While some parties feel the re-introduction of the old national anthem is the least change Nigeria needs at the moment, others hold that the change was long overdue.