Senate Joins Reps, Okays Bill Mandating Return To Old National Anthem

Senate

The Senate has approved a bill seeking to change the current national anthem titled “Arise O Compatriots” to the old anthem.

Akelicious reports that the House of Representatives had earlier passed the bill requiring Nigeria to revert to the old National Anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee thee.”

Titled “National Anthem Bill, 2024″, the bill passed its third reading on Tuesday after the upper chamber considered the report of its Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Federal Character, and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Mongonu Tahir, the Senator representing Borno North, while presenting the report of the committee during plenary, said the bill seeks to provide a legal framework for the national anthem “so that it can bite with all the legal powers embedded in it.”

He clarified that the bill, despite the concerns raised by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, does not need to be subjected to a wider process of citizen participation through zonal public hearings, resolutions of the Federal Executive Council, Council of State, National and State Assemblies, etc.

Insisting that the bill is ordinary and not a constitutional amendment bill, Tahir said it only requires to be read first, second, and third time after a public hearing.

Presenting the committee’s report, Monguno stated that the new national anthem is apt as it represents the country’s people, culture, values, and aspirations.

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The bill is in tandem with the spirit of unity. It will undoubtedly inspire a zeal for patriotism and cooperation. It will promote cultural heritage. Changing the national anthem will chart a path to greater unity,” Tahir said.

In his contribution, Senate President Godswill Akpabio noted that the AGF is not a lawmaker and does not have a full understanding of how bills are passed. He, therefore, called for a voice vote after which it was unanimously adopted.

The bill will be transmitted to President Bola Tinubu for assent. If signed into law, it will be the first time Nigeria’s national anthem will be given legal backing.

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