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Return To Old Anthem: Name Of Composer, Other Facts About Nigeria’s Old National Anthem

The Nigerian National Assembly passed a bill on Thursday to reinstate the country’s old national anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

This move has reignited interest in the anthem’s origins and significance, originally composed in 1960.

Naija News brings to you some important facts about the former national anthem.

“Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” the nation’s first national anthem, was composed by British expatriate Lillian Jean Williams, with lyrics written by Frances Berda.

Adopted when Nigeria gained independence from British colonial rule, the anthem symbolized the hopes and aspirations of a newly sovereign nation.

The anthem was in use from 1960 until 1978, when it was replaced by the current anthem, “Arise, O Compatriots,” following a national competition aimed at creating a piece that better reflected Nigeria’s indigenous heritage by the then-military leader, Olusegun Obasanjo.

The replacement was part of broader efforts to decolonize Nigeria’s symbols and foster a stronger sense of national identity.

With the National Assembly’s decision to return to “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” many Nigerians, especially those who witnessed the early years of independence, have expressed nostalgia and pride.

The anthem’s lyrics convey a message of pride, unity, and a hopeful vision for Nigeria’s future.

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