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UPDATED: Tinubu signs bill to return old national anthem

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President Bola Tinubu has assented to the National Anthem Bill 2024 reverting to the old national anthem, “Nigeria, we hail thee”.

This was announced by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio.

Mr Akpabio said Mr Bola Tinubu’s visit to the National Assembly is for the purpose of launching the old National Anthem.

According to the Senate President, the bill reintroducing Nigeria to the old National Anthem as passed by both chambers of the National Assembly was signed into law by the president earlier on Wednesday.

Following the signing of the bill by Mr Tinubu to reintroduce the old national anthem, the joint sitting discarded what has been in existence since 1978, to adopt the former (and newly signed) national anthem ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’.

The old anthem, “Nigeria, we hail thee”, which was composed when Nigeria gained independence on October 1, 1960, has replaced the “Arise, O Compatriots” anthem.

Lillian Jean Williams, a British expatriate who lived in Nigeria during its independence, wrote the lyrics for “Nigeria, we hail thee,” while Frances Berda composed the music.

However, the anthem played an important role in shaping Nigeria’s national identity and unity during the 1960s and late 1970s.

Below are the lyrics to “Nigeria we hail thee”.

Nigeria, we hail thee,
Our own dear native land,
Though tribe and tongue may differ,
In brotherhood, we stand,
Nigerians all, and proud to serve
Our sovereign Motherland.

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.

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