Why Nigeria should revert to Old National Anthem – Sen Monguno

The Chairman of Senate committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal matters, Senator Mohammed Tahir Monguno on Monday said a new national anthem will inspire the citizenry to build a fully integrated and indivisible nation, where citizens will live in unity and harmony.
Sen.Monguno made this known at the public hearing on the bill for an act to provide for the national anthem of Nigeria and related matters (SB 461) of the Senate Joiint committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal matters and committee on Federal Character and Inter Governmental Affairs.
According to Monguno, the decision to alter a nation’s anthem is not one to be taken with levity, pointed out that it reflected the very essence of “our national identity and heritage”.
“the bill in a nutshell seeks to make provision for Nigeria to revert to its old national anthem that would promote better symbol for unity, peace and prosperity compared to the current one”.He said
While declaring open the public hearing, Senate President, Godswill Akpabio who was represented by the Leader of the Senate,Sen.Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele(APC, Ekiti central) applauded the joint committees for providing the platform on the propose change of the national anthem.
He said “National anthem is not just a mere melody, but symbol of Nigeria”, saying it reflects our diverse culture.
Akpabio said the public hearing was to essentially look at the merits of the bill.
“The old National anthem symbolises historical heritage of our country, shows deep sense of patriotism in shaping national identity”Akpabio said.
In his contribution, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) said the national anthem remained a symbol of national identity, added that for most African countries, it symbolised the end of colonialism.
“I have no problem bringing about the old national anthem, but I believe it should be subjected to wider consultation and the outcome will be a true reflection of Nigerians.
“In some cases it is subjected to plebiscite to know whether it suits the citizenry” Fagbemi said.
Also speaking ,the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris commended the initiative, saying it was long over due.
The minister, who spoke through the Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Issa Onilu suggested there should be National Identity Act.
“The challenge we have today is we don’t have national value system of which the national anthem is one” the minister added.
A legal luminary, Mike Ozekhome, threw his weight behind the bill, saying bringing back the old national anthem was well overdue, he said it has better lyrics and content.
“Having this national anthem will help us based on prevailing circumstances” Ozekhome said.
He cited many countries that have changed their national anthem.
Members of the joint committees who spoke at the public hearing unanimously supported the bill for a reverse to the old national anthem which commenced with the Nigeria’s Independence on October 1st,1960.
Recall that the Nigerian Senate on Thursday passed for second reading a bill for an act to provide for the national anthem of Nigeria.

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