Premium Times (Abuja)

26 February 2013

Nigeria: Guests Protest as Obaigbena Fixes American Anthem Before Nigeria's at Thisday Awards

Photo: Vanguard
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton at the ThisDay Awards in Nigeria

There was a mild drama on Tuesday at the 18th Annual Thisday Awards held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, as guests at the ceremony kicked against singing the American National Anthem before the Nigerian anthem.

Guests were already seated when the award organiser, Nduka Obaigbena, publisher of Thisday Newspapers; and the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun; ushered in Bill Clinton, former American President. After that, the Master of Ceremony announced that the American Anthem will be sung followed by the Nigerian anthem.

In swift response to the announcement, there was a spontaneous, and overwhelming resistance from the guests, who vehemently kicked against the arrangement, insisting that such arrangement was insulting to Nigeria and her citizens.

The guests, many who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES after the event, argued that in Nigeria, the country's anthem should be sung first and that in America, one should expect the Americans anthem to take priority. They demanded a reversal of the arrangement.

A change was effected. The Nigeria national anthem was sung, followed by Ogun State anthem while the American anthem was eventually dropped.

The ceremony was in celebration of Nigeria's best teachers and fifteen teachers were honoured at the event. It was organised by Mr. Obaigbena's Thisday Newspapers and held in the Ogun State capital.

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