The National Orientation Agency (NOA) on Friday advocated for the second stanza of National Anthem to replace the regular prayer made by the two religious bodies in public places.
Mike Omerri, the Director General of the agency, made this call in Abuja when the Special Adviser to the President on Social Development and Special Duty, Sarah Jubril, paid him a courtesy visit.
He said it was imperative for Nigerians to start adopting the second stanza of the national anthem as prayer as against the usual one made by Muslims and Christians, and sometimes have led to bickering.
Mr. Omerri said adopting the anthem as prayers could lead Nigerians to the path way of peace, saying if the national assembly could have a single prayer, nothing, he says, should stop the country from following suit.
The DG said the agency was saddled with the responsibility of spreading correct messages of development, adding that it would stop at nothing to ensure that the transformation agenda of President Jonathan is achieved.
“We thought we will be a lone ranger when the idea of making the second stanza of the national anthem a prayer in public places was muted, but suddenly the special adviser is already buying into it.
“If I employ 1000 imam or pastors for prayers and I keep doing the wrong thing I am not being honest, so it’s good we keep reminding ourselves of the wordings in the anthem,” he said.
NAN reports that the DG of NOA had circulated about 85 letters to ministries, departments and agencies on the need to mount the national flag in their offices and replace the bad ones.
Earlier, Mrs. Jubril had commended the DG for his role in sensitising and enlightening the public on government policies, adding that NOA should not rest on its oars in spreading the message to the grass roots.
She noted that the country’s national anthem is being played down as people have no regard for it as it once was. She urged the NOA to step up effort in encouraging people to sing it.
Mrs. Jubril said there is the need for every ministry, department and agency to create a unit to sensitise the public on what the government is doing.
“It is not only the civil society that is interested in the welfare of Nigerians that is why the president deemed it fit to create an office on social development,” she said.
Mrs. Jubril urged the NOA to engage the grass roots and not to concentrate its activities only on the urban areas. This, she says, would fast tract the need for people to understand government policies.