‘An obnoxious law’ — Ezekwesili says she’ll continue to sing former national anthem

Oby Ezekwesili, former minister of education Oby Ezekwesili, former minister of education

Obiageli Ezekwesili, former minister of education, says she will not recite the reintroduced old national anthem.

The old national anthem is themed: ‘Nigeria, We Hail Thee’ while the one used since 1978 is titled ‘Arise, O Compatriots’.

The house of representatives speedily passed the bill on May 23, while the senate passed the bill on Tuesday during a public hearing.

Julius Ihonvbere, the lawmaker who sponsored the bill, anchored his argument on the need for patriotism and nationalism among citizens.


On Wednesday morning, President Bola Tinubu signed the bill and was welcomed to the floor of the green chamber to the tune of the reintroduced national anthem.

Ezekwesili, who described the law as repugnant, said she would continue to sing the former 46-year-old anthem.

“Let it be known to all and sundry that I, Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili will whenever asked to sing the Nigerian National Anthem sing: 1. Arise, O compatriots, Nigeria’s call obey,” the former minister said, referring to the first lines of the former anthem.


“This is my own National Anthem and let it be known that no one can suppress my right to dissent an obnoxious “law” that is repugnant to all that is of good conscience in Nigeria.

“Whatever else is #NotMyNationalAnthem.

Tinubu said the reintroduced anthem reflects the country’s diversity and unity.

Before the passage of the bill and the presidential assent, there were calls for broader consultation on the subject.


Shehu Sani, a former senator representing Kaduna central, said changing the national anthem should be done after consultations with Nigerians.

Sani said altering the national anthem without consulting widely would be seen as an attempt to dissolve Nigeria.

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