Aniekan Udofia

That the current National Assembly did not change our national anthem to, “On Your Mandate We Shall Stand” was perhaps one of the greatest wonders with these band of praise singers and hypemen who flood our legislature.

In the face of the biting hunger, insecurity, economic downturn, galloping inflation and policy somersaults of the current administration, it was returning our national anthem to the colonial concoction of Lillian Jean Williams; “Nigeria We Hail Thee” that has topped the agenda of discussion for our legislators.

One may wonder why these current set of politicians are sought the return to the former anthem other than the current. The answer may not be far from the fact that the words of our current national anthem was a torment to their conscience because of the poor leadership and greed they have manifested in government.

The words of our national anthem engender the Nigeria of our dream and these set of politicians have been everything other than what the national anthem required. “Arise, O Compatriots, Nigeria’s call obey”. Ironically even the laws made by these politicians are misinterpreted to suit their whim and caprice. These politicians have demonstrated disregard to the Nigerian state and even a simple rule of stopping at a red light is not applicable to their convoys.

“To serve our fatherland, With love and strength and faith.” The current politicians are far from service to our fatherland. They constitute the rich class of our country and hit instant wealth on getting to public office.

“The labour of our heroes past, shall never be in vain.” No set of humanity have rendered the labour of our heroes past worthless like the current politicians in Nigeria. Nigerians count glory days in the past and live in anguish in the present. The mention of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Tarawa Balewa, Eyo Ita, Okotie Eboh etc evoke feeling of purposeful leadership and vision for a better nation. The same can not be said when the names of these current rulers are mentioned today.

“To serve with heart and might” is far from these politicians who have been heartless with the untold hardship and suffering they have unleashed on many Nigerians.

“One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity.” In desperation to capture power, these current politicians have diced and sliced us along the lines of ethnicity, religion and other parochial sentiments. Our freedom, peace and unity have been taken away from us.

The second stanza of our national anthem has been the greatest torment to our political class. “Oh God of creation, Direct our noble cause”. The ignoble actions of our politicians have made them detest this line.

“Guide thou our leaders right”. It is the total resignation to doing the wrong things, that our politicians have embraced. They have simply refused to be guided right.

“Help our youth the truth to know.” Our politicians have weaponised poverty, that majority of our youth lack the capacity to know what is the truth and have accepted the dysfunctional system.

“In love and honesty to grow.” From banditry, to ethnic crisis and the rest our political class have continued to benefit from a fractured country.

“And living just and true, Great lofty heights attain”. The level of injustice in Nigeria is appalling and the judiciary have become a monster in churning out injustice.

,”To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.” There is simply no plan by our politicians to build a nation where peace and justice reigns because the current structure of criminality serves their purpose.

So we can understand better why they changed the National anthem. Fortunately, we must draw consolation that they have not changed to, “On your mandate we shall stand” as the new anthem.

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