Reintroduced National Anthem Could Have Prevented Banditry, Says Akpabio

Senate President Godswill Akpabio has asserted that retaining the old national anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” could have mitigated banditry and insecurity in the country. This statement follows the recent passage of the National Anthem Bill 2024 by the Senate and House of Representatives, which reverts the national anthem to the version abolished in 1978.

The National Assembly’s swift approval of the bill saw it pass both readings on the same day and subsequently receive President Bola Tinubu’s assent, making “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” the new anthem of the country.

During a visit to the Nigeria Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies in Abuja on Tuesday, Akpabio highlighted the unifying potential of the reintroduced anthem. He argued that it fosters unity, patriotism, and love among Nigerians, which are essential for national cohesion.

Addressing criticisms that the reintroduced anthem is a relic of colonialism, Akpabio clarified that a Nigerian panel in 1959 selected the anthem from global inputs. He urged critics to understand the historical context of “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

“The other impactful bill signed by the National Assembly is reverting to our old national anthem,” Akpabio said. “A lot of people are not aware that there was a panel set up and made up of Nigerians to receive input from all over the world in 1959. So, when people say we’re bringing in a colonial anthem, they need to look into the history of ‘Nigeria, We Hail Thee.’ If we had kept to that anthem, we probably would not have banditry today in Nigeria because if you take your neighbor as your brother, you will not want to kill him.”

Akpabio also announced that over 30,000 Nigerian students have been selected to benefit from the newly introduced student loan scheme. He emphasized that the Student Loan Bill, passed by the tenth Assembly, enables children from poor and underprivileged backgrounds to pursue higher education without financial strain.

“The Student Loan Bill enables vulnerable Nigerian students, the less privileged, to obtain higher education,” Akpabio stated. “And as I speak to you now, over 30,000 Nigerian students have already been selected to benefit from that scheme. That is one of the bills I will say appeals to me the most.”

The reintroduction of the old national anthem and the student loan scheme are part of broader legislative efforts to address social issues and promote national unity.


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