In a statement issued last Thursday, Mike Omeri, the Director General of National Orientation Agency (NOA), has revealed that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has adopted the second stanza of the National Anthem as the official prayer at all public functions.
He said that the Minister of Environment, Hadiza Mailafia, gave the hint when she visited the agency, stating that FEC now recites the second stanza of the national anthem as national prayer. Mr. Omeri quoted the minister as saying that the FEC is committed to ensuring that all public functions follow suit.
He said the NOA had been advocating for the adoption of the second stanza as national prayer at public functions. This, Mr. Omeri said, would engender the spirit of cohesion and unity in supplication to God, in Nigeria. According to the NOA DG, the practice of saying separate prayers by different religious faithful at public functions divides the groups along religious lines.
Some state governors – Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, and Babangida Aliyu of Niger- had similarly adopted the second stanza as official prayers at all public functions and schools in their states.
The second stanza of Nigeria’s national anthem reads:
Oh God of creation
Direct our noble course
Guide our leaders right
Help our youths 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.