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VIDEO: Nigeria unlikely to experience banditry if we didn’t change our anthem in 1978 – Akpabio

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VIDEO: Nigeria unlikely to experience banditry if we didn’t change our anthem in 1978 – Akpabio

Senate President Godswill Akpabio has said Nigeria would probably not have anything to do with banditry if the country had not changed its national anthem in 1978.

In 1978, the military government of General Olusegun Obasanjo dropped “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” written by Lillian Jean Williams in 1959 and composed by Frances Berda.

“Arise O Compatriots” written by Pa Ben Odiase became the anthem until the government of President Bola Tinubu reverted to the old anthem last month.

The anthem bill speedily passed first and second readings at both chambers of the National Assembly and  was afterwards assented into law by President Tinubu.

Speaking during a visit to the Nigerian Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies in Abuja, on Tuesday, Akpabio said passing the old anthem bill is one of the significant achievements of the National Assembly under his leadership.

He added that the Student Loan Bill was another significant bill that was passed by the federal lawmakers.

“The bill that was sent to us by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on students’ loans and scholarships to enable Nigerian vulnerable students; the less privilege to obtain higher education,” Akpabio said.

“And as I speak to you over 30,000 Nigerian students have been selected to benefit from it. That is one of the bills I would say appeals to me the most.

“The other one on social impact is reverting to our old national anthem. A lot of people are not aware that there was a panel made up of Nigerians set up to receive input from all over the world in 1959.

“So, when people say we are bringing colonial anthem, please look into the history of the “Nigeria, We Hail Thee”.

“If we kept to that anthem, we probably would not have banditry today in Nigeria, because if you took your neighbour as your brother you would not want to kill your brother, if you took your neighbour as your brother, you would not want to into the farm and behead your brother.”

 

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