Changing Nigeria’s national anthem was a tactic to distract from the country’s real problems, says political analyst

The recent change to Nigeria's national anthem was rushed through parliament. What does this say about Nigerian politics?

While nearly all of Nigerians are busy attempting to make ends meet financially, their representatives in Abuja have given priority to changing the national anthem with none public consultation (participation).

The bill passed its first and second readings within the Senate on May 23, was passed on May 28, and was signed by the President the following day.

In the House of Representatives, the bill passed the primary, second and third reading on the identical day.

Based on the available Minutes of the National Assemblythat's unusually fast.

Many other bills relevant to the welfare of residents are stuck in first reading in the identical Senate. These include the Inflation Reduction Scheme (Special Provisions) Bill and the Child Rights Act (Amendment) Bill, which have been on the waiting list since February 7, and the Government Performance and Accountability Bill, which has been on the waiting list since February 22.

Instead of reviewing the performance of the federal government under Tinubu and the tenth National Assembly, public attention was dominated by discourse to the national anthem.

To what extent is changing the national anthem a diversionary tactic?

Divide and rule is a widely known feature of Nigerian politics. The political elites have perfected the art of dividing the people. ethnic, religious and regional boundaries.

But this is only one tactic throughout the broader strategy of “distract and rule.” The goal of this strategy is to divert people’s attention from serious government problems that affect their lives and focus it as a substitute on trivial issues.

The key point is to keep up a “Democracy” without participation or representation of the people.

Was this diversionary strategy effective?

Public opinion was divided to reinstate the old anthem. Some Nigerians, especially the older generation who’re acquainted with the old (now latest) anthem and supporters of the ruling party have welcomed the move.

Others are indifferent to alter the anthem because they feel that it’s their socioeconomic And Security realities.

The socio-economic realities prompted the Nigerian Labour Congress and its affiliated unions to call an indefinite strike on June 3, 2024, to demand a living minimum wage. The strike switch off the economy as the facility grid, airports and other critical sectors were shut down.

Although the strike was suspended on the second day for renewed negotiations with the federal government, this again diverted attention from the national anthem.

How has Tinubu’s government fared to date?

At his inauguration on 29 May 2023, President Tinubu delivered a News of hope amid rising inflation, growing public debt, pervasive uncertainty, a legitimately contested election and a deeply polarized political society.

He also announced the abolition of oil subsidies, but he had no plan for the results.

The price of non-subsidized gasoline rose from 145 naira (0.324 US dollars) per liter in May to 617 Naira (US$0.7802) in July 2023. The cost of living has skyrocketed.

The government claimed that the abolition of subsidies 1.45 trillion naira (976 million US dollars) between June and September. But Nigeria reportedly spent 3.6 trillion naira (2.4 billion US dollars) for funding in 2023.

To counteract the shortage of foreign currency, the federal government also allowed the free circulation of the Naira. The value of the currency fell by 40.78% from 471.67 Naira to 664.04 Naira against the Dollar in June 2023.

In February 2024, the Naira was at 1,542.58 per dollar and was predicted and reached 2,081 before stabilizing relatively on the official rate in March 2024, ranging between 1,200 and 1,400 per dollar.

Nigeria, once Africa’s largest economy, is threatened by the fourth place in 2024.

Economic policy has exacerbated inflation, which rose from 22.22% to 33.69% between April 2023 and April 2024.

Although the President promised to minimum wage in June 2023 and outlined eight weeks In order to succeed in an agreement with the unions, the quantity remained at 30,000 naira (about 21.76 US dollars) monthly even one 12 months after taking office.

The World Bank predicts that the proportion of the population below the international poverty line will increase from 30.9% to 40.7% by the top of 2024.

In addition to a crippling economic crisis, Nigeria is combating security problems, including terrorismRevolt, armed banditryillegal mining, kidnappingSmuggling and other types of organized criminal violence.

Despite the Efforts of the Nigerian military, which killed 6,880 criminals, arrested 6,970 others and freed 4,488 hostages in 2023, the safety situation has not improved.

Analysis by the Data project on places and events of armed conflict shows that Nigeria recorded 4,556 deaths and seven,086 kidnappings between May 29, 2023 and May 22, 2024, in comparison with 2,606 deaths and three,523 kidnappings within the previous 12 months.

These are the actual challenges facing the country and so they highlight the many failures of Tinubu’s tenure.

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