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Gowon shuns FG, ECOWAS’ invitation to speak on crises

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By Francesca Hangeior

The former Head of State and one of the founding fathers of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, General Yakubu Gowon, retd, has turned down invitation to wade into the crises bedeviling the regional body.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in partnership with ECOWAS Commission, had invited journalists to a “’press conference” with Gowon at ECOWAS Commission Headquarters, Abuja, scheduled for 12 noon.

He was expected to speak on the current state of affairs at the regional level, with regards to coups and subsequent threat by the Republic of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso to exit the organisation and perhaps, proffer lasting solutions to the challenge.

The three military juntas in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger on January 28, announced their intention to exit ECOWAS over allegation of the regional body becoming a threat to its members, being “under the influence of foreign powers and of betraying its founding principles.”

They equally accused the regional body of failing to support them in their fight against terrorism and insecurity, while imposing illegal, inhumane and irresponsible sanctions against them, following coups.

A day after, the leadership of the regional body expressed concern over the countries’ decision, worried that unelected leaders were engaging in a public posturing to deny their people the sovereign right to make fundamental choices.

ECOWAS has been calling on the three countries to return to civilian rule by imposing sanctions and denying them plans for lengthy democratic transitions.

Recently, the Mediation and Security Council, MSC, at the ministerial level, which held in Abuja, Nigeria, urged the aggrieved nations to prioritize dialogue and reconciliation.

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I’ll Never Sing New National Anthem – Oby Ezekwesili Vows

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, has vowed never to sing the newly adopted national anthem, ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’.

Ezekwesili said she would continue singing the previous national anthem, ‘Arise, O compatriots

Her remark was in response to President Bola Tinubu’s confirmation of ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’ as the latest national anthem.

Posting on X, Ezekwesili wrote: “Let it be known to all and sundry that I, Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili will whenever asked to sing the Nigerian National Anthem sing:

1. 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.

2. Oh God of creation, direct our noble cause
Guide our leader’s 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 reign.

She added: “This is my own National Anthem and let it be known that no one can suppress my right to dissent an obnoxious “law” that is repugnant to all that is of good conscience in Nigeria. Whatever else is #NotMyNationalAnthem.

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ARISE NEWS MANAGING EDITOR’S DAUGHTER BAGS MASTERS FROM HARVARD UNIVERSITY

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The daughter of Arise News Managing Editor, Christian Ogodo, was among graduands who bagged various degrees from the prestigious Havard University in the United States.

Oghenetega Steffi Eberechukwu Ogodo, was conferred with a masters degree in Urban Planning of the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University on 23rd May, 2024.

Tega was also a Bloemberg Leadership Fellow, who did her industrial training with the Rochester City Council in New York, while her field work had the theme: “People must feed,” postulating that there must be decent and nutritious food even for the downtrodden people in society.

Tega is a graduate of the University of Lagos with a Second Class Honours [Upper Division] from the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, majoring in Urban and Regional Planning.

She is the daughter of Nigeria’s foremost News Anchor on Arise News on WEEKEND NEWSNIGHT, Christian Ogodo, who is the Managing Editor of Arise News Media Group.

She is currently working with an engineering consulting firm in Chicago that specialises in logistics.

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National Anthem: Nigeria switches from fatherland to motherland

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By Francesca Hangeior

The Federal Republic of Nigeria, today, officially reverted to the National Anthem that heralded its independence as a sovereign Nation.

President Bola Tinubu, after he met a joint session of the National Assembly, signed into law, the adoption of the old National Anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

“Nigeria, We Hail Thee” was adopted as Nigeria’s first national anthem on October 1, 1960.

The anthem’s lyrics were written by Lillian Jean Williams, a British expatriate who lived in Nigeria when it achieved independence.

Frances Berda composed the music for “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

However, the second national anthem, “Arise, O Compatriots,” was adopted in 1978.

The lyrics of the now jettisoned anthem were a combination of words and phrases taken from five of the best entries in a national contest.

The words were put to music by the Nigerian Police Band under the directorship of Benedict P. Odiase (1934–2013).

The Nigerian national anthem lyrics were created by five people: P. O. Aderibigbe, John A. Ilechukwu, Dr. Sota Omoigui, Eme tim Akpan and B.A. Ogunnaike.

With the return to the old anthem, Nigeria officially switched from a ‘Fatherland’ to a ‘Motherland’.

Hereunder are the Three Stanzas of the old but now new National Anthem:

1. Nigeria we hail thee,
Our own dear native land,
Though tribe and tongue may differ,
In brotherhood we stand,
Nigerians all, and proud to serve
Our sovereign Motherland.

2. Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice reign,
In peace or battle honour’d,
And this we count as gain,
To hand on to our children
A banner without stain.

3. 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.

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