So it’s another day to recall democracy, sometimes I feel Fela was right to have called it demonstration of craze. Little wonder there was demonstration of craze today as UNILAG students took to the street to protest as the name of their school became MOSHOOD ABIOLA UNIVERSITY, LAGOS (whether it is MALU OR MAUL na una sabi) by the Federal Government but then let’s talk about something else, something more important than the ‘swag’ in a name.
I was listening to the national anthem on the radio today. When the second stanza was sung I reflected on the meanings and I realized this should be our first stanza, this should be the anthem all Nigerians should recite every day especially the innocent children in primary and secondary schools before they grow up and lose their innocence. At least may be God can answer our prayers through them. May God bless whoever wrote the second stanza for that is truly an ANTHEM. So I have decided to do the ‘Tafseer’ of the second stanza and maybe you would concur with me that it should be the first stanza and also a prayer Nigerians should say often. Below is the second stanza and we would go through the explanations line by line
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 HEIGHT ATTAIN,
TO BUILD A NATION WHERE PEACE, AND
Now for my explanations. I love the first line for it is in this line you find the confirmation of Tawheed (Oneness of God) precisely Tawheed ar-Rububiyya (maintaining the unity of Lordship). That God created all things. How wonderful a start. Could there be a better beginning for an anthem? Now to the second line, Direct our noble cause. What is our cause? Our purpose? As Nigerians? As a Nation? As a people? To worship the God of creation of course. Do you see the link with the first line? This worship does not have to do with praying to God alone but being good to our neighbors, being kind to the wayfarer, by not being Murderers and thieves, by being of good conduct. What a noble cause we have. GUIDE OUR LEADERS’ RIGHT, what more could Nigerians pray for. Right guidance for our leaders but we don’t. Cursing our leaders is now the normal thing we do, we call them names and see nothing wrong in it and then you say Nigeria is bad, we’re just starting unless we change. No wonder we are Nigeriants and not Nigerians. If the head is good then we know it is most likely the body would be good. Imagine you are travelling by public transport and you then curse the driver of the vehicle you boarded. If you have an accident, remember that you are part of the cause, remember you cursed your driver. The fourth line is a message for me and for you if you are a youth especially those of us who are students of UNILAG or is it MALU or MAUL, for if we know the truth we would not come out to protest and say UNILAG is a brand, as if the name UNILAG would remain forever, even if it is not changed now it would be changed in the future that is one certain thing. By now we ought to have realized that CHANGE is the only CONSTANT thing. As youths we would we should not act and think later but think before we act because tomorrow is ours.
IN LOVE AND HONESTY TO GROW, this is the fifth line. Now I want you to imagine a Nigeria where we all grew up with these two cogent ingredients LOVE and HONESTY. These are the things we need in the basic unit of a society, the family. Love and Honesty between couples, between families, between tribes, and then as a nation. These are strong foundations on which relationships should be built: LOVE and HONESTY. The sixth line further buttresses the line before it. We need to LIVE JUSTLY and also our love for one another should be TRUE and not I scratch your back you scratch mine love. Following the message before it this line tells us where we would be: LOFTY HEIGHT. Of course we would attain lofty heights if we followed the messages in the line before it to the letter and then the concluding part, TO BUILD A NATION WHERE PEACE, AND JUSTICE REIGN. What more do we want in Nigeria, We all want a Nigeria where PEACE and JUSTICE shall reign. What a wonderful anthem. So tell me, my fellow Nigerians do we know this stanza by heart? Do we recite it often? Are we NIGERIants or NIGERIANS?