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Reps passes bill to revert to old national anthem

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A bill for an act to revert to the old national anthem has passed first, second, and third readings in the House of Representatives.

The bill was sponsored by the leader of the House, Rep. Julius Ihonvbere, during plenary in Abuja on Thursday.

Leading the debate on the general principle of the bill, the lawmaker said that the current national anthem was not helping.

He added that there was a need to go back to the old national anthem, whose wordings were more patriotic.

“Going back to memory lane to a time in history when things were done in a proper manner, the old national anthem helped Nigerians to be more patriotic.”

He said, “The bill will bring us together, and give us hope and courage, a sense of duty to the nation.

“That does not necessarily deny the reality and that is the maintenance of contemporary societies.”

According to him, there are those that deny reality, and pretend racism does not exist, ethnicity doesn’t exist, poverty doesn’t exist.

“They rationalise this by looking at GMP, GDP and the reality stares people in the face and that is when you are faced with the realities then you can attack and deal with it frontally. ”

Contributing to the debate, Rep. Kingsley Chinda said, “We are taking ourselves back to the old National Anthem; incidentally, I will ask again: is this bill important at this particular time in our national lives?

“What value will it add to us as a nation? These questions need to be answered.”

He added that Nigerians were looking up to the House for more fundamental issues that would cause proper change.

“What is the history we are about to make? So I stand as a Nigerian to say no to this bill. I pray that we look at it critically and urge the sponsor to withdraw this bill.”

Rep. Ahmed Jaha (APC-Bormo) however, supported the bill, arguing that the “Arise O Compatriot” anthem has not benefited the country.

He said Nigerians were not living in tune with the wording of the “Arise O Compatriot” anthem.

Rep. Ahmed Satomi (APC-Borno) said, “Nigerians are looking up to us regarding this bill because many of us in our early 40s don’t know this national anthem.

“I don’t know how this bill on the national anthem will affect the common man. Let’s be realistic how this will help the government to stop hunger, banditry, or improve security.”

“Let’s do what is beneficial to the common man and this Honourable chamber is the only hope for now standing for the common man of Nigeria.”

“I concur with the Minority Leader. Let’s look at something that will bring a development in the eyes of the international communities to Nigeria.”

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that there were heated argument among those who were for and against the motion.

However, when the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, who presided over the plenary rule, it was in favour of those who supported the return to the old anthem.

The bill was subsequently sent to the Senate for concurrence.

(NAN)

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