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“Hungry People Don’t Sing”: Nigerians React to Tinubu’s Reintroduction of Old National Anthem

Nigerians have criticized President Bola Tinubu’s decision to reinstate the old national anthem – “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” emphasizing that the country faces more pressing issues like inflation and security.

The reintroduction of the old anthem has sparked significant outrage on social media, with many arguing that the government should prioritize relevant legislation to address the nation’s economic and social problems rather than making symbolic changes.

The backlash highlights a widespread sentiment that the focus should be on alleviating hunger and ensuring safety, rather than altering national symbols.

One common sentiment expressed by critics is encapsulated in the phrase – “Hungry people don’t sing,” underscoring the frustration and urgency for practical solutions to the everyday challenges faced by Nigerians.

This move has been criticised for its timing and perceived misalignment with the country’s more pressing issues, such as rising inflation and security challenges.

The bill, introduced and swiftly passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, has faced backlash from citizens who argue that the government should prioritize addressing economic and social problems rather than changing the national anthem.

During the launch of the new National Anthem at the National Assembly, President Tinubu praised the lawmakers and urged for continued collaboration to build the nation.


He stated, “Please, let’s continue collaborating and building our country. We have no other institutions or personalities to help us unless we do it ourselves. Let us work together to build our nation for us and unborn generations.”

The previous anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” was used from 1960 until 1978. It was replaced by “Arise, O Compatriots.” The reinstatement of the old anthem has sparked a wave of criticism on social media.

On X (formerly Twitter), users expressed their dissatisfaction:

@Zarmaomar sarcastically commented, “The long-awaited national anthem bill that will solve the issues of insecurity, hunger, corruption and create job opportunities has been officially signed by the President…”

@Mudiaga247 questioned, “How does signing this bill help the Drowning Economy.”

@KennyNuga highlighted the need for more relevant legislation, saying, “Misplaced priority. We need laws mandating all vehicles to shift off the road when an Ambulance is approaching. We need laws that criminalize bullying in our institutions.”

@RealQueenBee_ criticized the move, stating, “This will now be an achievement for the Tinubu administration, reverting back to the colonial anthem.”

@PatoEner lamented the government’s focus, saying, “This government is never implementing policies that would alleviate the poverty in the economy. Or do they think hungry people sing the national anthem?”

@DoublePrince001 pointed out the swift passage of the bill, “Within 7 days it was sorted….. Let’s talk about minimum wage or what will benefit Nigerians… It will take months and years.”

@iam_damayor sarcastically celebrated the change, “Congratulations Nigerians, we now have a new National Anthem. When you want to buy anything, just recite it and you get the 2015 price of that goods/service.”

About Idowu Hamed

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