Nigeria used the British National anthem “God Save the Queen” as her patriotic song in the year 1914 to 1960. After its Independence in 1960, “Nigeria We Hail Thee” became the national Anthem and was  written by Lillian Jean Williams with music by Frances Benda, both were British expatriates.

During the Nigerian civil war which lasted from 1967-1970, when Biafra tried to secede from Nigeria, “Nigeria We Hail Thee” was the anthem of the home country while Biafra’s anthem was “Land of the Rising Sun”. After the war in which Nigeria won to stay one country, the Biafra’s anthem was no longer in use. In 1978, the National Publicity Committee organized a contest to create a new national anthem, of the many sent in, five stood out and they were words written by John A. Ilechukwu, Eme Etim Akpan, B. A. Ogunnaike, Sotu Omoigui and P.O. Aderibighe.
These words were put together to form what is now the “Arise, O Compatriots”, the Nigerian national anthem. At the time, Nigeria was under military rule and the music to the anthem was composed by the Nigerian Police Band, Benedict Elide Odiase was the director at the time. The “Arise, O Compatriots” has since been the official patriotic song of Nigeria.

Arise, O Compatriots (1978–present)

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.

O God of all 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.

“Nigeria, We Hail Thee” (1960-1978)

Nigeria, we hail thee,
Our own dear native land,
Though tribe and tongue may differ,
In brotherhood we stand,
Nigerians all are proud to serve
Our sovereign Motherland.
Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice reign,
In peace or battle honoured,
And this we count as gain,
To hand on to our children
A banner without stain.
O God of all creation,
Grant this our one request,
Help us to build a nation
Where no man is oppressed,
And so with peace and plenty
Nigeria may be blessed.

“Biafra National Anthem” (1967-1970)

Land of the rising sun, we love and cherish,
Beloved homeland of our brave heroes;
We must defend our lives or we shall perish,
We shall protect our hearts from all our foes;
But if the price is death for all we hold dear,
Then let us die without a shred of fear.
Hail to Biafra, consecrated nation,
Oh fatherland, this be our solemn pledge:
Defending thee shall be a dedication,
Spilling our blood we’ll count a privilege;
The waving standard which emboldens the free
Shall always be our flag of liberty.
We shall emerge triumphant from this ordeal,
And through the crucible unscathed we’ll pass;
When we are poised the wounds of battle to heal,
We shall remember those who died in mass;
Then shall our trumpets peal the glorious song
Of victory we scored o’er might and wrong.
Oh God, protect us from the hidden pitfall,
Guide all our movements lest we go astray;
Give us the strength to heed the humanist call:
‘To give and not to count the cost” each day;
Bless those who rule to serve with resoluteness,
To make this clime a land of righteousness.

National Pledge

The Pledge is recited immediately after the National Anthem;
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.
 
Source: wakeupnigeria.4t.com

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