The National Anthem and Pledge is a recited daily in primary and secondary schools across Nigeria. That is why it was a shock when two ambassadorial nominees could not recite the “Nigerian Creed.”
The funny incident unfolded as the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs started screening 47 ambassadorial nominees, who were chosen by President Muhammadu Buhari himself. Vivian Okeke, a nominee from Anambra State was the first to face the screening committee. She was asked to recite the national anthem, she started the recitation but she allegedly could not complete it, as she murmured the last line of the first stanza. A member of the panel, Senator James Manager came to her rescue and helped her recite it to the end.
Ibrahim Isah, a nominee from Niger State could not recite the pledge successfully either, according to Punch News a Nigerian newspaper, “Ibrahim Isah from Niger State, who is currently serving in Turkey, was asked to recite the national pledge. When he reached the third to the last line, he said, “to defend her unity and integrity,” instead of “to defend her unity and uphold her honor and glory.”
Senator Ita Enang who is currently serving has the senior special assistant to the president on national assembly matters (senate) has debunked news of nominees not being able to recite the anthem and pledge. He was contradicted by another senator who claims Enang was lying. “That was a lie. Everybody saw what happened. We were there; journalists were there; the cameras and the tapes were there. How can diplomats not know the anthem and the pledge of their country? If it were lawmakers now, he [Enang] would come for us” reported the Punch.