Nigeria, We Hail Thee: A Wrong Diagnosis to our Predicament

Amid the severe inflationary pressure and other stark economic woes bedeviling our nation, the 10th Senate decided that changing our nation’s ailing national anthem from its long-standing version, “Arise o compatriots,” to ” Nigeria, We hail thee” after roughly thirty years, was the next item on the to-do list.

Still awaiting ratification and examination are significant bills that would boost the nation’s economy. Such as the proposed law to tax luxury goods and possessions, the bill to raise the national minimum wage to mention a few. Ignorant of these pending bills, our government believes that the next step for our sickly nation, is to restore our national anthem to its primordial state. Isn’t it Sympathetic and laughable?.

I see this initiative as a diversion with such a blatant insignificance, as it tends to have no impact on our progress as a nation. Perhaps, if prior questions, such as: what value will the proposed law add to us as a nation, will this initiative alleviate the populace’s sufferings?, were raised and answered on the floor of the house, the bill would not have progressed to the assent stage.

Nigerians, been citizens of a country with such economic downturn, remain peeved as to the recent turn out of events in the House. Citizens believe a large chunk of the government concern ought to be on engaging their intellect and time towards developing various innovations and mechanisms which will help in salvaging our deteriorating economy from the cold hands of death.

Following this, it won’t be hard to accept that the Marxist perspective on law is deeply ingrained in our legal system, as evidenced by the fact that our government seems more interested in passing needless laws, than in addressing the daily struggles citizens face in commercial hubs like Balogun Market in Lagos, Kano’s Dawanau food market, Abia’s Onitsha international market, among other commercial centers.

The sponsor of the proposed law John Ihonvbere, while anchoring his argument for proposing such law, based his argument on the need for Nationalism and patriotism, emphasizing that his idea would better ignite the spirit of patriotism and nationalism amongst the citizenry.

Hence, making Nigerians a patriotic citizen. Mr. Ihonvbere and his seconders has actually misconstrued the idea behind patriotism, been that they diagnosed a wrong medication to our predicaments. They’ve failed to realize that the prerequisites for igniting love and devotion in the citizens whom with the prevailing circumstances, have little or no faith in the government of the day, would take more measures than a mere anthem or poem.

It is unrealistic to expect the citizens to internalize patriotic spirit, by the mere reading of a poem, if they are deprived of social amenities, security, adequate healthcare, among other essential dividends of democracy. The sad reality is that most people have no real connection to this country at all. Some would even go so far as to curse and say absurd things about it.

Nevertheless, some lawmakers just sit around in the capital city, believing that a poem will solve the nation’s problems of citizens with dwindling patriotic spirit. Funny!. The situation has gotten worse recently to the point where Super Eagles international football games tend to inspire more unity and patriotism among the populace than anything else.

When you approach an average man on the street and inquire about his patriotism, most of them will tell you that their devotedness and commitment towards their football clubs such as Manchester United and Arsenal, is far more satisfying and pleasing than having a patriotic spirit towards Nigeria.

This might actually seem absurd, but we cannot fault these heartbroken individuals as the government hasn’t given them a reason to earn their devotion and commitments. The earlier our lawmakers starts realizing this, the better it would be for the revival of our beloved nation.

Considering the claims that the repealed “Arise O Compatriots is not homegrown by the indigenous people of Nigeria. This argument is shallow as I believe the non-autochthonous character of the repealed anthem is not a sufficient rationale to feign dumb to other pressing matters, and surprisingly hastening the bill repealing the anthem.

The change in the national anthem has, however, exacerbated our country’s dire situation, as we continue to hope for a government that understands and responds to the tribulations that the people face. Well, it’s here, having gone through the constitutional measures for enactment as stipulated in Section 9(2) CFRN 1999 (as amended). Nigeria, We Hail Thee is here and it being our national symbol, it is expected of us as Nigerian citizens to respect our national symbols and also know them by heart…


Nigeria, we hail thee,

Our own dear native land,

Though tribe and tongue may differ,

In brotherhood, we stand,

Nigerians all, and proud to serve

Our sovereign Motherland.


Our flag shall be a symbol

That truth and justice reign,

In peace or battle honour’d,

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.


About the Author

Aminu Ashraf is a law student from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He has a penchant for writing about different areas of law and other fields ranging from taxation, trending political issues amongst other areas. He can be reached via: [email protected]

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