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Mild Drama as Guests at 2013 ThisDay Awards Refuse to Sing American National Anthem before Nigeria’s



At the 18th Annual Thisday Awards held in Abeokuta, Ogun state, guests refused to sing the American National Anthem before the Nigerian Anthem as it was arranged in the programme.

The event was attended by former American President Bill Clinton.

Here is how Premium Times is reporting it:

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.

What are your thoughts on this? Was it disrespectful of the organisers to put the American National Anthem before Nigeria’s?

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. Intoxyka

    February 27, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I have to agree with the guests. We are not American citizens neither were we colonized by them. Just because we have Bill Clinton in our means doesn’t mean we should give up our identity. I’m glad that the guests kicked against it…it is from the little things that the big things grow from and I think their refusal to song the America anthem is a step n the right direction!!!

    • morenike

      February 28, 2013 at 6:46 am

      Thank God for Common Sense! hisssss….

  2. Intoxyka

    February 27, 2013 at 10:21 am

    *midst…. sorry for the typo. Emotional outburst!!! *shy Smile*

  3. Olori

    February 27, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Thank God we still have sensible people in Nigeria who will rise to defend Her honour. To what end did the organizers make such a decision? I bet they would gladly substitute the Nigerian anthem with that of the U.S if no one raises an eyebrow. As if the western world does not treat us with enough disdain already; some people just have to add irritating butt-kissing to our profile *hiss*

  4. Sequoyah

    February 27, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Disrespectful? Maybe no. But definitely thoughtless. I’m so proud of those who stood up to the organizers though. It portends good things for the “Nigerian Projct”.

  5. Jo!

    February 27, 2013 at 10:26 am


  6. Person pikin

    February 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

    This thing wey dey do black man no be today oh! Will they ever sing a nigerian anthem before the american one in any function in america?

    Meanwhile e be like say Clinton don kuku get Naija passport. He is very much around these days.

  7. diamond

    February 27, 2013 at 10:32 am

    ha! What’s the point of singing the American anthem at all? Was it an American event hosted in Nigeria? Bill Clinton is former president and not present president, so that should not even be a reason. O ga oh!

  8. eniola

    February 27, 2013 at 10:35 am

    the fact that they even proposed singing American Anthem before Nigerian, shows huge lack of respect for the country and the death of patriotism.

    • oyda

      February 27, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      thank you

  9. fashionandstylepolice

    February 27, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Nice one.

  10. Sash

    February 27, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Lol very funny. I kind of like that .

  11. amy

    February 27, 2013 at 10:41 am

    haha mild drama… i totally agree with this guy, we should keep the flag flying high at all times…

  12. pynk

    February 27, 2013 at 10:45 am

    lmao. WHy are they even singing the American Anthem?

  13. loo

    February 27, 2013 at 10:51 am

    why was the american anthem even on the event program first of all na wa o that’s why they keep treating us like that nonsense!!! God bless all those people who kicked against jare nonsense

  14. Debs

    February 27, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Very disrespectful indeed.


    February 27, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Seriously?! What exactly is wrong with this Nduka man? Wetin consign fish with umbrella? *shakes head*

  16. bukky

    February 27, 2013 at 11:01 am

    do they even knw hw to sing it??i dnt get…hw many nigerians can even sing our anthem perfectly come to talk of theirs….see me see wahala ooh!!!

  17. potts

    February 27, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Hmm ass kissers all dis so called nigerian leaders and rich men all they do is kiss ass I. Always wonder what it is that they’re looking for.Good audience. Jor thanks for making noise. Atleast we still have sensible people

  18. Berry Dakara

    February 27, 2013 at 11:08 am

    I googled and this is what I saw on

    1. When multiple anthems are to be performed (such as honouring a visiting dignitary or sporting team from another country), the host nation’s anthem is usually performed last.
    2. In Western countries, men are generally required to remove their hat during the playing of the anthem, but ladies generally are not. (This is due to the centuries-old notion that a woman’s hat is part of her outfit, while a man’s is an accessory to it.)
    3. It is not absolutely necessary to sing along to the anthem (especially if you don’t know the words, although most anthem lyrics are on this site!)
    4. Any national anthem, whether of your own or of another nation, should be treated equally (that is, one should stand up for both, be silent for both, and both should be treated with respect), regardless of your personal feelings toward the other nation.

    • Iris

      February 27, 2013 at 11:16 pm

      It’s not so much the order of the anthem. Why should it have been sung at all?! It was not an official event for American representatives. That’s the point.

  19. x factor

    February 27, 2013 at 11:10 am

    whats the significance of the american national anthem?

  20. Deedee

    February 27, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Wonders shall never end. I’m neither a proud or patriotic Nigerian, but I won’t go as far as be stupid enough to put that in the programme at all. How many people can sing the American anthem in Nigeria?

  21. Abana

    February 27, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Good! Why should we be singing the American anthem on Nigerian soil when its not a sporting event? Thank heavens we have sensible Nigerians. If Obasanjo was hosted in America, do you think the Nigerian anthem would be sung at all? We really need to get serious.

  22. Iris

    February 27, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I’m so happy. What rubbish! It wasn’t in any way an American event to begin with so of course their anthem shouldn’t even have been there. Even when it’s an international match of some sort the only people who sing the anthem are the CITIZENS of that country. Odes.

  23. pee Kay

    February 27, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Mr Nduka and the other organizers nor just try! D event was not about America neither was it held in America,so if there were other nations president they will sing their anthem all before ours ! This is how we sell ourselves below our true worth . Amebor wey nor go finish for our leaders blood stream

  24. layour

    February 27, 2013 at 11:56 am

    i so agree

  25. oyda

    February 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    what !!!!! im fuming

    sing another countrys national anthem first… insult

    it can never be the reverse , imagine america singing another countrys anthem when they r in their own country.. it will never happen…

    our leaders are so unpatriotic.. even them are ashamed of what their decisions have led this country to

    abi is it the proposed contracts or investments or handouts that they hope to get from USA via Clinton that is causing such misbehaviour

    unless they are not telling us something… na who give money for the eko atlantic project?

    i don vexxxx

  26. chick

    February 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    who even knows how to sing american anthem, even naija pple never learn finish, una come say make person sing american anthem, no be only american anthem nah sumalian anthem them for sing . nonsense

  27. Funmi

    February 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    BN, sorry, o biko. Make una no vex, are you guys okay at all. If you lke don’t post this, but I’m talking to you guys directly. What kind of stupid question is that “What are your thoughts on this? Was it disrespectful of the organisers to put the American National Anthem before Nigeria’s?” What do you mean by was it disrespectful? Excuse me? Your website is called BellaNaija, not BellaAmericana. Dont sit on the fence please, was it disrespectful? Take a stand instead and say it, use your jounalistic license and say it. IT WAS DISRESPECTFUL. Unless you guys don’t think it was disrespectful. I am now officially disappointed with you guys, for a team I used to have so much respect for in terms of the quality of your work. You’ve lost my respect, as in totally.

    • Ore

      February 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      It’s quite clear you do not know the meaning of journalistic license. As a journalist, it’s your job to report a story objectively, without your opinion, except it’s an opinionated piece. Doing so will give the reader to form an informed opinion on the issue not a biased one based on the article. Since this is not an opinionated piece, Bella Naija’s opinion is not needed. word of advice, stop causing unnecessary drama like those people on Linda Ikeji do, abeg!

  28. anonymous

    February 27, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    why should the American National Anthem be in the program at all? famzing

  29. tee

    February 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    @ funmi, why your blood dey hot? Abeg take it easy. The fact that BN made that statement doesn’t mean they actually support the idea of singing America’s national anthem before Nigeria’s anthem. To me, i feel the statement was made just to know people’s view on the issue. I don’t see anything wrong with it.

  30. Don

    February 27, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Haba! Wetin concern us concern American anthem. Nigerians can sha overdo sometimes O!

  31. Don

    February 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Ore, Funmi and co, do you want to turn BN to Sahara reporters? Please calm down jor. Must they phrase the question the way you want? Your understanding of English must be generally flawed (no insult intended).

  32. jcsgrl

    February 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Oh father God! I’m still yet to get over my annoyance over that Kim K’s visit and how the girl totally rubbished us and we were licking her ass for $ 500k and now this? Nigeria I weep for thee! Where is the loyalty? Where is the patriotism? I’m beginning to understand why people called me stupid and out of my hand for moving back. Is there any use? Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it gets worst. *really going back to my prayer closet and then to a psychiatrist

  33. Graco

    February 27, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I agree with Berry Dakara. But I think that would have been appropriate if Clinton was still the President.

  34. mag

    February 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    why in the world should another nation’s anthem be sung before the hosting nation

  35. Ada

    February 27, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Berry dakara has addressed this issue but all the ignorant people will ignore it. tha was so disrespectful to bill clinton, when it is the normal thing to sing the host nation’s anthem last. even at eko atlantic opening where jonathan was present, the us anthem was sang first and nobody complained.

    it is national anthem that you all think shows patroitism, what a joke.

  36. @ajiriavae

    February 27, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    This is just the slavery mentality that is keeping us in darkness.

  37. N

    February 27, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    and we say they make us feel inferior when we literally lick their feet. Nigerians go abroad and get treated like shit foreigners come to Nigeria and get better treatment. A Nigerian citizen would then be living like a second-class citizen and foreigners enjoying our right. Its just funny… Have they ever sang the National anthem in America because Obasanjo is present? They’re human beings and not gods ugh

  38. Dhimmi Jean

    February 27, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    What stupidity! Just because Bill Clinton came in their presence, they sing Nigerian anthem last. Unbelievable. Just shows you the stupidity of some folks in Nigeria. You treat your own citizens like crap and you wonder why everybody else doesn’t give a damn. What a disgrace.

    • Niyi D'Blunt

      March 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      …as if we even truly and consciously abide to the words of the anthem! Are this issues we shd be bothered about? Why dont we get thotful about salient points the nice American president raised in his benevolent lecture.
      Nigerians, wake up from your bigotry slumbers! Imagine, the gentleman was not even bothered about this mundane issues we are crying over.
      We are simply “penny wise, pound foolish”

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