Mr Akpabio said the errors were spotted in three lines in the standardised version of the anthem unveiled by the National Orientation Agency.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio has identified errors in lines three, five, and 18 of the new national anthem released by the National Orientation Agency (NOA).

Mr Akpabio observed the errors during the plenary on Tuesday and directed the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to immediately correct the errors.

Last Wednesday, the Director-General of NOA, Lanre Issa-Onilu, unveiled the “standardised version” of the national anthem in Abuja.

Mr Issa-Onilu, during the unveiling, urged Nigerians to pay attention to the words in lines three and five of the anthem as released by the agency.

“We call the attention of Nigerians to line three of the first stanza, which reads: ‘Though tribes and tongues may differ’.

“Note that the words ‘tribes’ and ‘tongues’ are in plural.

“We want you to also note that line five of the first stanza reads: ‘Nigerians all, are proud to serve’.

“The word ‘are’, not ‘and’ is correct” Mr Issa-Onilu said at the unveiling.

But, at the plenary, Mr Akpabio said the correction introduced by the NOA was not what the National Assembly passed.

“Take note, this is the version that was passed by the National Assembly. What the National Orientation Agency has is not what we passed,” he said.

“Where you have, ‘Nigerians all, are proud to serve’, they said ‘Nigerians all, and proud to serve’, that is number one, it should be ‘are’.

“And then it said ‘though tribes and tongues may differ’, they said, ‘though tribe and tongue, I hope you understand and at the end where we said ‘Nigeria shall be blessed’, they did not say so. They said ‘Nigeria may be blessed’.

“We are using the word shall, which is compulsion, that this country shall be blessed. So, tell the National Orientation Agency to drop what they are circulating now. Congratulations to all of us” Mr Akpabio added.

The Senate and the House of Representatives hurriedly passed the National Anthem Bill recently reverting to the old anthem introduced at the country’s independence in 1960 but changed by the Olusegun Obasanjo military regime in 1978.

President Bola Tinubu assented to the bill on 29 May.



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