1st year in office: NASS hails Tinubu on return to old National Anthem

The National Assembly has commanded President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for returning Nigeria to the use of the old National Anthem.

President Tinubu had signed the Bill To return to use of the old Anthem on the morning of Wednesday, before a short visit to the apex parliament, where he addressed a joint session of members before proceeding to commission the National Assembly Library.

The President also used the opportunity to announce to the National Assembly that a supplementary Appropriation Bill to the 2024 budget will soon be transmitted for its consideration and approval.

Before commencement of the session and arrival of President Tinubu,  the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio who presided over the session explained that the President will pass through the National Assembly, without making any official address because, “today is not officially designated as Democracy Day, but we’ve invited him to come for the epoch celebration of our new National Anthem, and he will be here to hear the sonorous voices of members of the National Assembly as we hail Nigeria .

“Thereafter, he will take leave of to go and continue his programmes and activities for the day, commissioning of projects and pushing the lives of Nigerians through the good works he has done in in the Federal Capital Territory, and by implication, Nigeria.”

He thanked his colleagues for making the Anthem a reality, saying, “let me start by congratulating the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, members of the House of Representatives, the Deputy Senate President, Leadership of the Senate and the Senators for taking us back to proper democracy. This morning, Mr President signed into an Act of parliament, the newly passed National Anthem, 2024.”

When the President arrived, Apkpabio said, “The Senators and members have asked me to congratulate you on your first anniversary. Congratulations! Before you came, I and my brother and Speaker, Tajudeen Abbas explained the purpose of this visit. This is what they called in Nollywood; waka pass. We intend to celebrate Democracy Day which is June 12 but out of honour and respect for the National Assembly, you said you must pass through the National Assembly on your first anniversary

“Of the significant things you have done, I think one of the most profound is to take us back  to our genealogy. The genealogy of our birth that though we may belong to different tribes, that though we may have different tongues; in brotherhood we all stand.

“Henceforth, we will not refer to ourselves as mere compatriots, we will refer to ourselves as brothers, and as we go forth in battle, whether on the field of sports, on the  field of politics, in economic endeavors, we must hail Nigeria . And so we are all saying today, Mr President; Nigeria, we hail thee. There is no better place to commence this revolution of going back to our genealogy than the National Assembly, made of very patriotic representatives, not just representatives but elected representatives of the people of Nigeria.

“The voice of the National Assembly is the voice of Nigeria. So we welcome you”.

President Tinubu in response said “I came to say thank you very much, for building up to this stage, building the institutions, building the country. You are the first and foremost leaders that speak to our people, and you have been in the forefront of this struggle.

“This institution, the hollowed chambers represent our consciousness for freedom, and sense of belonging. You rang out the latest National Anthem; Nigeria we hail thee. This is our diversity, representing all characters and how we came together to be brothers and sisters.

“Without this out, probably, I may not find the path to the presidency, I started all the way from here, that’s why am giving this respect this morning, so please, continue to collaborate, work together to build our country. We have no other choice. It is our nation, no one, no age, no other institution or personality will help us except we do it ourselves.

“No amount of aids that may be coming from foreign countries or any other nation, they take care of themselves first, let us work together to build our nation not only for us but for generations yet unborn, charting a new path.

“The question of programme for development, I submitted the last budget, you expeditiously passed it. We are working the talk. I will soon bring year 2024 supplementary appropriation Bill, that’s just for your information.

“We must not risk this democracy, we must build this nation so that the future of our great grand children will be sure of prosperity, development and progress,” he said.

Delivering vote of thanks, Speaker of the House Of Representatives, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, while also appreciating the President for the return to the old National Anthem initiatives said, “Our relationship in the last one year, is a win win for all of us”, stressing that “if you follow the National Anthem line by line, you will understand the need for it”.