Today, as we begin the journey of Tinubu's 'Unity-Trinity' Presidency with the tripod issues of National Re-birth, Reorientation and Renaissance. It is imperative that as a nation destined for greatness - we need to holistically address certain issues that undermines the unity of our beloved country Nigeria. Fundamentally, the healing process as envisioned by the new administration with security and economic rejuvenation as the priority. It signposts the beginning of a new dawn. A NEW NIGERIA.
In the recent past few days, while ruminating on what will be the focus and achievements of the Tinubu's Presidency in the 'first hundred days' given the significance of national re-birth, reorientation, ethics and cohesion. First, it is argued that the prospect for nation-building policies, built on the idea of a shared national culture, is severely restricted by the liberal egalitarian requirements of justice defended in a fair-minded spirit. Gladly, the new administration under the leadership of President C-in-C Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu is well equiped to navigate us through the storm and arrive at destination the promised land.
More relative are the issues of the old and new Nigeria national anthem. Undoubtedly, the present situation and challenges are threatening our togetherness and deserve to be given adequate attention. Few of our compatriots take the view that there is a necessary connection between loving one's country and believing falsehoods about it, and there are enough patriots whose love is unquestionable. Therefore, the need to revisit "NIGERIA WE HAIL THEE" the old national anthem which speaks directly to our conscience and challenges us as citizens.
When "Nigeria, We Hail Thee" was first announced, the new national anthem faced criticism for a number of reasons. The Daily Service, a newspaper run by the Yoruba organisation Egbé Ọmọ Odùduwà, started a rebellious campaign against the national anthem, which led to a committee being established to collect signatures as a petition. Notwithstanding, the anthem was adopted as Nigeria's National Anthem when Nigeria acceded to national sovereignty on October I, 1960.
I keep asking myself why was this beautiful anthem thrown into the waste bin. But, for various reasons, including the need to promote indigeneity of ownership and also inspire Nigerians, the Anthem was replaced in 1978 under the military administration of General Olusegun Obasanjo, with ‘Arise O Compatriots.’ Inspiring Nigerians and securing public trust and support, especially after the reckless killing of Murtala Mohammed on 13 February 1976, a day, so dear to me, my fourteenth birthday.
Nigeria, We Hail Thee" (1960-1978)
"Nigeria, we hail thee,
Our own dear native land,
Though tribe and tongue may differ,
In brotherhood we stand,
Nigerians all are proud to serve
Our sovereign Motherland.
Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice reign,
In peace or battle, honoured,
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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.
Arise, O compatriots.... may not have given the level of motivations needed to drive the zeal that encouraged patriotism, instead it may have been responsible for the level of decay, despondency and individualism.
Therefore, to make Nigeria work for all with good and functioning government, it is important to reconsider the message from the previous National Anthem. Also the Civil Service needs cleansing and in order to remove incompetent, mediocres and reposition the service properly to meet the requirements of the emerging challenges; there must be consistent, synchronized and synergiezed economic policies and procedures in place. We as a nation also need to be an apostle of national healing.
The Nigeria's system has one of the most individualistic cultures in the world. The mindset of an average Nigerian is primed to individualism than nationalism. It breeds unimaginable level of greed, self-centered mind-sets and personal accomplishment over and above Nation-building. This is where we got it wrong completely and it will take a 'RENEWED HOPE' through 'Mind Restructuring Advocacy' motivated by strong dispositions and drives similar to "Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You"
I will like to therefore, share with us the profound words of encouragement from John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961: "We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom — symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning — signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago.
"To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support — to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective — to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak — and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run."
Conclusively, let this be an instructive peal to folks bent on ‘Unbridled brigandage Ideologies’, therefore, I will like to dedicate this contribution that seeks to reevaluate the role of leadership and citizenship with a view to signpost the beginning of an era. It should be noted that when corruption wants to fight it starts by defeating the inner consciousness of man and rendering patriotic thoughts useless. The new National Anthem may have killed the spirit of the old Anthem that stood as the Armour that shielded us from Corruption. Life-changing experience with the now silent emergency political opportunistic interlopers.
Finally, the new administration may do well to revisit issues such as the old and latest National Anthem amongst others. This is an existential reality as we march on to the promised land. Above all, I will like to join all our compatriots at home and abroad to say Congratulations to our beloved country Nigeria.