Marking his first year in office, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has stirred controversy by signing the National Anthem Bill 2024 into law, reinstating the old anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.” This move has drawn sharp criticism from prominent entertainers who argue that the government’s priorities are misplaced amid the country’s ongoing challenges.

Gyration master Tony Oneweek criticized the decision, calling it a “misplacement of priorities.” He pointed out the nation’s pressing issues like economic instability, insecurity, and insufficient electricity, suggesting that the anthem change does nothing to address these problems. “We have a myriad of wahala and we are discussing the national anthem?” he questioned.

Actress Kate Henshaw took to social media to express her disapproval, highlighting the severe hardships faced by Nigerians. She sarcastically remarked that reverting to a colonial-era anthem would not solve the country’s governance issues. “In the midst of excoriating hardship… going back to a colonial anthem will be a soothing balm?” she tweeted.


Pop singer Teni the Entertainer voiced her sentimentality, stating she would miss the current anthem, “Arise, O Compatriots.” Similarly, Joeboy criticized the administration for focusing on the anthem change rather than addressing the nation’s hardships.

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Adekunle Gold questioned the decision not to consider Timi Dakolo’s “Great Nation” as the new anthem. “No one thought Timi Dakolo’s Great Nation makes a better anthem?” he wrote on his social media.

Film maker and convener of Indigenous People of Nigeria, Mazi Dickson Iroegbu, described the change as a distraction from the administration’s failures. He suggested that a more meaningful action would be to revert to the 1963 Constitution and reconsider the country’s name. He emphasized that reverting to the old anthem was part of recommendations from Jonathan’s 2014 Conference, urging the government to adopt these recommendations comprehensively.

The backlash from the entertainment industry reflects a broader sentiment that the anthem change is an inadequate response to the severe issues facing Nigeria, highlighting a call for more substantial and impactful governance.