National Anthem: The key to reviving Nigeria

The national anthem of Nigeria is called “Arise, o compatriot”. The lyrics were written by John A. Ilechukwa, Eme Etim Akpan, B.A Ogunnaike, Sota Omoigui and P.O Anderibigbe. It can be recalled that the music was created by the Nigerian Police band directed by B.E Odiasse. The Anthem was adopted in 1978 and was a replacement for “ Nigeria, we hail thee”.

The Nigerian national anthem is fairly short with just two verses. But the first verse is typically the only one that is sung during most events and occasions. The first verse touches on many themes, the nation’s connection through freedom, peace and unity, while the second verse addresses future generations and what must be done in order to keep the nation at peace.

Both the two verses are important but I believe the second verse has what it takes to revive the country, if we could live in accordance with its words. The second verse is the key to revive our country.

“Oh God of creation, direct our noble cause.

Guide our leaders right, help our youths the truth to know.

In love and honesty to grow and living just and true.

Great lofty heights attain.

To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign”.

The verse is more of plea to the father of creation; begging him to take control of the principles that govern our activities, which include our constitution, value system, and way of life. And it urges our leaders to work through the pasture of integrity and dignity. May their mind be far from wrongfulness in decision making. The plea for bestowal of knowledge and understanding upon our young men and women. Because only then can they grow in love and honesty, as well as living a just and truthful life.

However, the fourth line can be argued to be the result of the third line because it is impossible to live a life of love and honesty without attaining a lofty state. The second verse ends with peace and justice shall reign.

Our country Nigeria can be revived if our youths can live a life of love and honesty. The question here is, how possible it is to live such life? The answer is, only if our youths decide to know the truth and go by it.

The key to revive our country Nigeria if found in the Nigerian national anthem, but only if we choose to live in accordance with its words.

Godwin Sunday

University of Maiduguri

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