The National Anthem of a country symbolizes the struggle of the nation. Its lyrics are formed out of the words of its patriots who tuned in to the desires and dreams of the land. Little wonder the National Anthem of Nigeria was adopted in 1978 to replace the previous anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” to symbolize more of her as a country and not as a political footstool of Britain.
Divided into two parts, the first stanza I am sorry to say does not hold much ground in the face of recent happenings. Patriotism seems to be a rare feat shown by few like the late medical doctor, Dr. Ameayo Stella Adadevoh, the first Nigerian to come in contact with the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). By the way, that woman deserves to be celebrated as a national icon.
I will provide the stanza for some of us who are unfamiliar with it. Needless to say, it is a pity to know some Nigerians are still unaware of the lyrics of the stanza, not to talk of committing it to memory.
“O God of creation, direct our noble cause.
Guide our leaders right, help our youth 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.”
Imagine how powerful the lyrics of these anthem when prayed sincerely in every official functions till it reverberates throughout the country and even upwards towards heaven that we somehow become a nuisance to God.
Well, you might say Americans wake up every day to pray, ‘God bless America’ while Britons at every opportunity chant “Hail the Queen’. The questions we should ask ourselves is simple; is God not blessing America as compared to us that He has already blessed beyond our present comprehension? The words of this anthem are a powerful tool to national cohesion even more than the first stanza. I reckon you will agree with me because we all need to find a lasting way out of the political and developmental quandary we find ourselves. It is time we pray to the heavens though the words of this stanza. Relegating the second stanza to the oblivious background is a testimony
This is a national plea to all policy-maker and decision giants to please, adopt this stanza as the official prayer. Two years ago, the stanza was adopted by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) as the official prayer at all public functions, after which the governors of Niger and Ogun State, Governors Aliyu Babangida and Ibikunle Amosun respectively followed suit, the result is yet to be substantially seen nor felt. It is therefore imperative on us all to join. I believe along with the first anthem, we will chart a reasonable course towards a better country we dream and wish for. Imagine the same spirit with the same words being prayed at every official function all over the country. This will help to engender the spirit of cohesion and unity in supplication to God in the country.
It is not good enough to have the Christian, Muslim and the traditional pray differently turn taking during official functions. It further concretizes religious difference throughout the country; a cankerworm that is threatening to destroy our unity as one country. Even to all average citizens, this task we must all take up to ensure we put God at the helms of affairs and start discussions with Him. It is indeed a unity prayer that demands voice. Break your oath of silence and sing along with me.
I am the conversationalist and this, is the conversation. Shalom!