Senate Begins Public Hearing On Change Of National Anthem, Seeks Wide Consultation


The Nigerian Senate has initiated public hearings on changing the national anthem, sparking debates and calls for wider consultations. This move aims to potentially replace the current anthem with the former one, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” which was used from 1960 to 1978.

Senior figures like Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, have voiced support for the change, citing lines from the previous anthem addressing oppression. Ozekhome emphasized that altering the anthem has long been overdue, recalling his proposal a decade ago during the 2014 National Conference, which ultimately didn’t materialize.

The Senate’s discussions have brought attention to the need for extensive consultation and consideration of public opinion. Attorney General Lateef Fagbemi stressed that any amendment should involve a broader consultation process to ensure it reflects the wishes of all Nigerians accurately.

During the hearings, Opeyemi Bamidele, representing the Senate President, proposed making the second stanza of the current anthem the national prayer. He also mentioned the possibility of further consultations depending on the feedback received.

Ozekhome also raised the idea of changing the name “Nigeria,” suggesting it might carry negative connotations. However, this proposal is separate from the anthem change and warrants separate consideration.

Overall, the discussions highlight the complexities and significance of altering national symbols like the anthem, underscoring the importance of thorough consultation and consideration of diverse perspectives.


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