"Nigeria We Hail Thee": Arewa Forum Blasts Tinubu's Old Anthem Reintroduction, Says "It's Backward"

"Nigeria We Hail Thee": Arewa Forum Blasts Tinubu's Old Anthem Reintroduction, Says "It's Backward"

  • The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has strongly opposed President Bola Tinubu's decision on the old anthem reintroduction
  • Prof. Tukur Mohammed Baba, the ACF spokesperson, argued that the old anthem undermines Nigeria's progress and unity
  • Baba suggested that if the 1978 anthem was deemed unsuitable, a competition should have been held for a new anthem reflecting contemporary sentiments

FCT, Abuja - The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has strongly opposed President Bola Tinubu's recent move to reintroduce Nigeria's old national anthem.

The forum, however, described the move as 'backward' and 'completely retrogressive.'

Arewa forum speak on Tinubu's new anthem
Arewa forum speak on Tinubu's new anthem Arewa Consultative Forum/Bola Tinubu
Source: Facebook

New anthem undermines Nigeria's progress

In an exclusive interview with Legit.ng, the spokesperson for ACF, Prof Tukur Mohammed Baba, argued that the reintroduction of the old anthem, which was used from 1960 to 1978, undermines the country's progress and unity.

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He said:

"Honestly, to go back to the colonial legacies, I think it is a retrogressive step. But it has been done sadly without a public hearing but with the legislature and so on. Honestly, I am not happy about it. It is a completely retrogressive step."

National anthem: It's lyrically rude, says ACF

Speaking further on the old anthem's reintroduction, Baba observed that the wording provoked sad memories of the colonial era, adding that the lyrics do not speak to current-day realities in the country.

He said:

"To be honest, that was totally unnecessary and misplaced, and it is egregious. Look, this is an all-colonial anthem. There are words in the anthem that are supremely rude to us as a third world country and as a people who were colonised.

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"You can imagine the word natives in the anthem. You know in this day and age, it is speaking of brotherhood, what of sisterhood? Those wordings are outdated as they are insulting.

Nigerians should have designed new anthem

He said that if there was any cogent need to replace the anthem, reintroducing the 1978 anthem was out of place.

Baba, however, suggested that the president, seeing the need to change the anthem, should have called on Nigerians to patriotically design on in a competition.

"Honestly, if I would have suggested that if the anthem that was brought in 1978 was rejected, the current administration should have just called for a competition for Nigerians to bring an anthem that may reflect some of the sentiments in it."

FG releases approved lyrics of reinstated national anthem

On Wednesday, June 5, president Bola Ahmed Tinubu's led federal government, through the National Orientation Agency (NOA), unveiled the approved version of the reintroduced national anthem.

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Also, the agency specifically urged Nigerians to pay attention to the words in lines three and five of the national anthem that was reintroduced.

Recall that on May 29, President Tinubu signed the National Anthem Bill 2024 into law, reinstating the old anthem “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” and banning the current "Arise, O Compatriots", which was adopted in the late 1970s and is the country's second national anthem.

Source: Legit.ng

Ezra Ukanwa avatar

Ezra Ukanwa (Editor) Ezra Ukanwa is a first-class graduate of Anchor University, Lagos. He holds a master's degree in mass communication. Ezra currently serves as the Current Affairs and Politics Editor for Legit.ng, where he covers events and provides insightful analysis and reportage on national issues. He was named best Campus Journalist (Anchor University Communications Award, 2019). Kindly contact him at: ezra.ukanwa@corp.legit.ng or +2349036989944

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