The Nigerian National Anthem is the symbol of unity and patriotism among Nigerians. It is for Nigeria, by Nigerians in Nigeria and the diaspora but sadly, a vast majority of the Nigerian populace do not know how to recite the national anthem.
Some who have a clue, begin to recite and stop halfway, while others mistake words like “fatherland” for “father’s land” and this can be somewhat embarrassing.
“Arise O Compatriots” as the Nigerian National Anthem is fondly called was adopted in the year 1978 and it replaced the former National Anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee”.
The words of the Nigerian National Anthem were put to music by the Nigerian Police Band under the directorship of Benedict E. Odiase.
It is noteworthy to mention that the first stanza of the Nigerian National Anthem is also known as the General Salute, while the second stanza of the Anthem is called the National Prayer.
Below is the Nigerian National Anthem in full:
First Stanza (General Salute):
Arise, O compatriots
Nigeria’s call obey
To serve our fatherland
With love and strength and faith
The labour of our heroes past
Shall never be in vain
To serve with heart and might
One nation bound in freedom
Peace and unity.
Second Stanza (National Prayer):
Oh 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.
I pledge to Nigeria my country
To be faithful, loyal and honest
To serve Nigeria with all my strength
To defend her unity, and uphold her honour and glory
So help me God.