Fresh Call for National Anthem Entries as NOA Stresses Correct Version

By Olaide Ajibola, JKNMedia Reporter

ABUJA WITNESSED a significant announcement on Wednesday as the Federal Government outlined its plan to solicit entries for a new rendition of the national anthem, crafted by a Nigerian.

The National Orientation Agency (NOA) shared this development, following the recent legislative action by President Tinubu, who signed the National Anthem Bill 2024 into law on May 29.

This pivotal move reinstated the historic anthem “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” a symbol of national pride during Nigeria’s early post-independence era.

In a press briefing, NOA Director General Lanre Issa-Onilu unveiled the official version of the revived anthem. Addressing the media, Issa-Onilu clarified any ambiguities surrounding the anthem’s lyrics, ensuring public familiarity with the restored song.

Issa-Onilu stated, “The NOA will soon invite submissions for the creation of an authentic Nigerian melody, reflecting the rich indigenous instrumentation unique to our nation.”

Details regarding the entry process and timeline will be disseminated through NOA’s communication channels in the coming week.

He further noted that the revamped anthem aligns with Nigeria’s national ethos and has garnered widespread support from citizens across the country.

He also stressed there was need to ensure that all Nigerians understand and uphold the anthem’s rich meanings, the Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mallam Lanre Isa Onilu, has formally presented the official National Anthem as his agency’s mandate.

Issa-Onilu further stressed the purpose need to introduce the correct version, rendition, and lyrics of the National Anthem to Nigerians worldwide.

He also noted the importance of knowing the approved version, as it serves as the identity of the nation. “The lyrics represent our reality as a nation, and we must live up to the true meaning of the words,” he stated, adding that the overwhelming acceptance of the new National Anthem by Nigerians, particularly among teachers and school children, indicating that the anthem has firmly taken root in the country.

Additionally, Onilu expressed confidence in the NOA’s capacity to reach every corner of Nigeria, and assured the public of the agency’s readiness to collaborate with various stakeholders across all local governments to educate citizens on the correct practices regarding the new anthem and to encourage behavioral change for Nigeria’s betterment.

Representatives from the Advertising Regulating Council of Nigeria (ARCON), the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), and the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) attended the presentation ceremony, stressing the broad support for this national initiative.

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