May 29, 2024, Posted by: Lila Mwangi

President Tinubu Reaffirms National Identity by Reinstating Old National Anthem

President Tinubu Reaffirms National Identity by Reinstating Old National Anthem

In a significant move that ties the present with the nation's foundational roots, President Bola Tinubu has signed the National Anthem bill into law, reinstating 'Nigeria, We Hail Thee' as the national anthem. The announcement was made by Senate President Godswill Akpabio during a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives. The bill's signing indicates a renewed focus on national identity and heritage, aligning with the ethos that shaped Nigeria's early years post-independence.

Historical Significance and Decision Rationale

The old national anthem, 'Nigeria, We Hail Thee,' written by Lilian Jean Williams and composed by the Nigerian Police Band under the directorship of Benedict E. Odiase, served as the country's anthem from independence in 1960 until 1978. The reinstatement of this anthem is more than a legal change; it is an effort to reconnect with the patriotic sentiments expressed during Nigeria's early years. President Tinubu's decision to revert to the old anthem comes amidst broader efforts to inspire a sense of unity and nationalism among Nigerians.

In his address to the lawmakers, President Tinubu elaborated on the importance of this move. He sees it as an embodiment of the Nigerian spirit, one that speaks to the country’s cultural and historical heritage. By bringing back the old anthem, the administration hopes to foster a renewed sense of pride and unity across the nation.

Senate Session Highlights

The atmosphere in the joint sitting of the Senate and House of Representatives was charged with anticipation as Senate President Godswill Akpabio made the announcement. The change was met with a mixed response, reflecting the diverse perspectives within the chambers. Some lawmakers expressed enthusiasm, seeing the move as a long-overdue homage to Nigeria’s history. Others were more cautious, emphasizing the importance of ensuring that the new yet old anthem resonates with the younger generation, many of whom are not familiar with 'Nigeria, We Hail Thee.'

Next Steps and Future Implications

The resurrection of 'Nigeria, We Hail Thee' will take formal effect on June 12, known as Democracy Day, marking its official reinstatement with a ceremonial flag-off. This day holds its own significance as a moment of reflection on Nigeria’s journey toward democratic governance. As such, the reintroduction of the anthem on this day ties in with broader national celebrations and moments of introspection.

The move to reintroduce the old national anthem also comes with logistical considerations. Educational institutions, governmental agencies, and public events will need to adapt, as the new protocol will require education and reorientation. The Ministry of Education is expected to roll out programs and materials to ensure that the anthem's lyrics and their historical context are disseminated widely.

Tinubu's Concurrent Agenda: 2024 Supplementary Bill

In the same session, President Tinubu hinted at the forthcoming introduction of the 2024 Supplementary bill. This announcement underscores the administration's holistic approach to governance, addressing both symbolic and practical elements of national well-being. Though details on the supplementary bill were sparse, it is anticipated to cover critical areas requiring immediate attention and funding. The President’s brief interaction with the National Assembly also included the commissioning of the National Assembly Library, a resource aimed at bolstering legislative research and capacity building.

Communication Clarifications

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, utilized the opportunity to clear up any misconceptions regarding the President’s visit to the National Assembly. He apologized for any misinformation that may have circulated, reaffirming the importance of transparency and effective communication in governmental operations.

Public Response and Reflection

As Nigeria prepares to once again embrace 'Nigeria, We Hail Thee,' public reaction varied across different segments of society. Many older Nigerians, who grew up with the old anthem, greeted the news with nostalgic approval. For them, the anthem represents a connection to a simpler and united past. Conversely, some younger citizens and critics questioned whether the change addresses the core challenges facing the nation today, such as economic development, security, and education.

Yet, it cannot be denied that anthems play a vital role in the psychological and emotional landscape of nations. They serve as rallying cries and symbols of unity and collective identity. As Nigeria negotiates its path forward, the reintroduction of 'Nigeria, We Hail Thee' stands as a symbolic commitment to remembering and honoring its roots.

The Path Forward

While the reinstatement of the old national anthem is laden with symbolic significance, its true impact will unfold in the coming months and years. The success of this policy shift will depend on its reception by the public and its alignment with broader governmental initiatives aimed at fostering national unity and pride. The administration’s challenge lies in ensuring that this symbolic gesture translates into genuine feelings of solidarity and a shared national identity among all Nigerians.

As the nation gears up for the ceremonial flag-off on June 12, the eyes of the country and the world will be turned towards Nigeria. How this moment is embraced will likely reflect the broader dynamics of Nigerian society as it strives to balance its historical heritage with the aspirations of its future.


In conclusion, President Bola Tinubu’s decision to reinstate 'Nigeria, We Hail Thee' as the national anthem marks a profound shift in the nation’s approach to its identity and heritage. As the nation prepares for the formal flag-off on Democracy Day, this decision is set to evoke a spectrum of emotions and reactions, bridging the past with the present in hopes of a more unified future.


Lila Mwangi

Lila Mwangi

I am a journalist with a keen interest in covering the intricate details of daily events across Africa. My work focuses on delivering accurate and insightful news reports. Each day, I strive to bring light to the stories that shape our continent's narrative. My passion for digging deeper into issues helps in crafting stories that not only inform but also provoke thought.

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