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The restoration of the old national song has Omokri fuming saying “It’s a giant step backward my heart heavy

An ex-presidential assistant and social activist named Reno Omokri has called the playing of the old national song again a “giant step backward.”

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According to divinejams, the House of Representatives overcame a disruptive segment on May 23 to approve a measure to reinstate the traditional national anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

The Senate did the same thing on Tuesday, passing the identical measure over citizen resistance.

Legislative debate alone should not be used to enact a legislation pertaining to the national anthem, according to Lateef Fagbemi, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, who pleaded with the National Assembly on Monday to put a stop to the bill amidst the rising controversy surrounding it.

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Nevertheless, the measure was signed into law by President Tinubu on Wednesday, as reported by Godswill Akpabio, the president of the Senate.

Responding on Wednesday on his official X handle, Omokri blasted the decision, calling it one of the most needless acts of government in recent Nigerian history, and urging the return of the previous national anthem.

According to Omokri, the National Anthem—which was played from 1960 to 1978—was written by outsiders. He emphasized that the nation is regressing by losing sight of its indigenous anthem, Arise, O Compatriots’ National Anthem.

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If the accompanying photo makes me look down, I promise you there’s a good reason. As a country, Nigeria is currently on my mind a lot because, in my view, we have taken a huge step backwards.

The legislation that restored the ancient national anthem is among the most pointless actions taken by the Nigerian government recently. To begin, the current national anthem was perfect. Secondly, focusing on an anthem makes us appear to be lacking in priorities, given the complexity of the issues we are confronting.

“In my opinion, replacing the 1978 national anthem “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” composed by an Englishwoman, Lillian Jean Williams, with “Arise, O Compatriots” composed by a group of young Nigerians including John A. Ilechukwu, Eme Etim Akpan, B. A. Ogunnaike, Sota Omoigui, and P. O. Aderibigbe seems like a regressive move.

“Would you agree that having an outsider compose our national anthem is completely absurd?” Is it because we lack depth and imagination that we are unable to compose an indigenous national song? Picture a country where famous musicians like Fela Kuti, Osita Osadebe, Dan Maraya Jos, and more recent talents like Sade Adu, Burna Boy, Davido, and Wizkid brought music that meant a lot to their country from Britain. “O wrong now!” my Yoruba brothers and sisters will exclaim.

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Another Englishwoman, Flora Shaw, already bestowed the name Nigeria to us. In 1897, she gave us our names in a manner similar to that of a dog. In a piece she penned for The Times of London, she did it with a dash of humor.

We should have gone to the extreme lengths of renaming it to an indigenous term, like the Republic of Wazobia, just like Ghana did when it gained independence in 1957 from the Gold Coast and became known as Ghana.

Eko was the original name for Lagos, and we should have used it again. Lisbon was renamed Lagos by the Portuguese. The Portuguese, who renamed Eko to Lagos, were incompetent administrators who were only interested in renaming the city for financial gain. This is the most frustrating part.

“Instead of tackling these name changes, we are instead reinforcing yet another vestige of colonialism by replacing the song composed by an outsider with one composed by our own people.

I challenge anyone reading this to think of another nation whose national anthem was composed by an individual from outside the country. “Not even the Banana Republic would do that!”

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