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Who composed the Nigerian national anthem?

Learn about the 5 poem writers and the composer of Arise, O compatriots NIgeria Anthem

The composer of Nigerian national anthem was Pa Benedict Odiase, who passed away in 2013. He has written the music for the hymn, but not the lyrics. During the history of Nigerian independence the anthem was changed and replaced with the new one. Let us take a look at its history and at the persons who have written it.

composers of Nigerian Anthem

The first independent Nigeria anthem was written and adopted in 1960, when the country gained its independence from UK. It was called “Nigeria, we hail thee”, written by Lillian Jean Williams. The hymn was used all the way till 1978, when it got replaced with the present day anthem – Arise, O Compatriots. Several people took part in creating the new song.

Pa Benedict Odiase was the composer of Nigeria national anthem. Nigerian hymn lyrics were put together by five personalities and one of them is Dr Sota Omoigui.

The new one was introduced to replace the outdated and written much in colonial style old anthem. Back in 1978 the National Publicity Committee of Nigeria has organized the competition for the best anthem lyrics. People submitted their quotes and five contestants won. Their words were compiled together to spare the present day hymn.

Here is a complete list of the people, whose lyrics and music have become the part of this great song:

  • John A. Ilechukwu
  • Dr Sota Omoigui
  • Eme Etim Akpan
  • B. A. Ogunnaike
  • P. O. Aderibigbe
  • Pa Benedict Odiase (the composer)

As you see, there is no one anthem author. However, Pa Benedict Odiase plays a very special role in its creation. Back in 1978 this person served as the Police Band director. He got all the words from the contestants, compiled them together and wrote the best music for the song. This humble individual did not receive much honor or glory from what he has done for his country. He continued to serve in Police Band until his retirement. He quietly passed away in 2013 when he turned 79 years of age.

READ ALSO: Who Created Nigeria

Now you know who composed the Nigerian national anthem. It took place 37 years ago. Since that time the song remained unchanged. Although, there are many variations of how it is performed and you may find some of them online. For instance, many celebrities performed this song, including Tiva Savage and Beyonce, whose roots are from Nigeria. You may watch and listen to the Anthem right here.

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