“Nigeria, We Hail Thee”: How Tinubu, Obasanjo Renewed Cold War

  • President Bola Tinubu and former President Olusegun Obasanjo have tactically resumed their cold war in the Nigeria political space
  • Obasanjo has recently been seen making cryptic comments and subtle criticism of Tinubu’s administration while meeting some PDP governors at the same time
  • On his part, Tinubu reacted by removing one major Obasanjo’s legacy, which was the removal of the Arise O’ Compatriots national anthem introduced by Obasanjo during his military regime in 1979

President Bola Tinubu signed the national anthem Bill into law on Wednesday, May 9. The bill returns the country to its old national anthem, ‘Nigeria, we hail thee.’

The bill repeals the “Arise I Compatriot,” which was introduced by former President Olusegun Obasanjo during his military era in 1979.

The reintroduced "Nigeria We Hail Thee" is a significant reintroduction of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Bola Tinubu's cold war.Details of how Tinubu, Obasanjo renewed cold war
Photo Credit: @officialABAT, @Oolusegun_objSource: Twitter

How Obasanjo, Tinubu’s cold war started

Tinubu and Obasanjo have been known political enemies since the return of democracy in 1999 when the latter was president of the country and the former governor of Lagos state.

Tinubu had created more local councils to bring governance to the grassroots, which Obasanjo opposed and withheld the state allocation throughout his tenure in office.

Of course, Tinubu was the opposition leader with the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD), while Obasanjo was in the then-ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

While Obasanjo did everything to take over Lagos from Tinubu when he was in power, particularly during the 2003 and 2007 elections, the former governor of Lagos was working to have federal power.

How Obasanjo began to attack Tinubu

Sixteen years later, Obasanjo is out of power, and Tinubu is now the president. Still, the duo of southwest politicians appear to have resumed their battle for supremacy in the region.

Obasanjo has recently been making cryptic comments and subtle criticism of President Tinubu’s administration. One such criticism is his comment on the removal of the fuel subsidy and the unification of the exchange rate.

The former vice president said:

“Today, the government has taken three decisions, two of which are necessary but wrongly and thoughtlessly implemented and have led to the impoverisation of the economy and of Nigerians. These are removal of subsidy, closing the gap between black market and official rates of exchange, and the third is dealing with a military coup in Niger Republic.”

At the same time, the former president is tactically relating with some governors of the PDP in what looks like a steady political come. Such moments are his recent dance with Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun state and the commissioning of a project in Adamawa.

How Tinubu responded to Obasanjo’s criticism

For his part, Tinubu removed one significant legacy of the former president, the “Arise O’ Compatriots” national anthem, which was introduced during his military regime and reintroduced the former anthem Nigeria inherited from its colonial masters, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee”.

The outgoing anthem, “Arise, O Compatriots,” has been sung at public functions since 1978. “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” was reintroduced after being adopted in 1960 as the first official national anthem. It was written by Miss Lillian Jean Williams, a Briton who lived in Nigeria at independence.

The House of Representatives passed the National Anthem Bill 2024 last Thursday, May 23. The Senate passed the bill on Tuesday, May 28, and President Tinubu assented to it on May 29. All in the space of one week.

Source: TheTalk.NG


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