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We looked at national symbols and the fact that national symbols represent a country. Nigeria's  national anthem, even though it is a song, is one of those symbols that represent Nigeria. In 1978, there was a big competition to create a new national anthem for Nigeria. The judges picked 5 winners instead of one! The 5 best entries to the national competition to create the national anthem were combined to make the national anthem of Nigeria today. The lines we now have in our national anthem were taken from five sets of lyrics, written by: P.O. Aderibigbe, Eme Etim Akpan, John A. Ilechukwu,B. A. Ogunnaike and Sota Omoigui.


The new anthem from the 5 entries was then set to music by the Nigerian Police Band, led by B. E. Odiase.

The new national anthem replaced the old national anthem written by Lilian Jean WIlliams, a British expatriate who was living in Nigeria at independence in 1960. The old anthem had been in use for 18 years before it was replaced. 


The Old Nigerian National Anthem


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 honour'd,

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.


The new Nigerian national anthem


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.


Oh God of 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.


National anthem of Nigeria. Audio. Britannica Online for Kids. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.


  • Which national anthem do you prefer the old one or the new one?

  • Imagine you had to add two more lines to the national anthem, what would they be?

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