I Won’t Revert to Old National Anthem, Oby Ezekwesili Declares 

Former Minister of Education, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has voiced her opposition to reverting to Nigeria’s old national anthem, a change recently signed into law by President Bola Tinubu.

 In a passionate statement on her X handle on Wednesday, Ezekwesili condemned the decision, describing it as an “obnoxious law” that contradicts the conscience of right-minded Nigerians.

Ezekwesili’s declaration came in the wake of the rapid passage of the National Anthem Bill 2024 by the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The bill reinstates “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” as the national anthem, replacing the current “Arise, O Compatriots.” Proponents of the bill, including its sponsor Julius Ihonvbere, argue that the old anthem fosters greater patriotism and nationalism.

“No one can suppress my right to dissent from what I consider an obnoxious law,” Ezekwesili stated firmly. 

She reiterated her commitment to the current anthem, affirming, “Whenever asked to sing the Nigerian National Anthem, I will sing ‘Arise, O Compatriots, Nigeria’s call obey…’.” She recited both stanzas of the current anthem, underscoring its message of unity and progress.

The decision to revert to the old anthem has been met with significant backlash from the public. 

Many Nigerians have taken to social media to question the relevance of this legislative move, especially given the country’s pressing economic challenges. 

Critics argue that the focus should be on addressing these critical issues rather than changing national symbols.

Ahmad Satomi, a lawmaker representing Jere Federal Constituency in Borno State, echoed these sentiments during the bill’s debate in the Green Chamber. 

Satomi challenged the necessity of the bill, suggesting it distracts from more urgent national concerns. 

His stance has sparked widespread discussion and debate, highlighting a broader dissatisfaction with the legislative priorities.

The controversy surrounding the national anthem change underscores a significant divide in Nigeria’s political discourse.

 While some see the move as a step toward rekindling national pride, others view it as a misallocation of legislative focus at a time when the nation faces substantial economic and social issues.

Ezekwesili’s defiance represents a broader resistance among Nigerians who are calling for more substantive policy changes rather than symbolic gestures

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