The Federal Executive Council has adopted the second stanza of the National Anthem as the official prayer at all public functions. The Director-General of the National Orientation Agency, Mr. Mike Omeri, made this known in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Paul Odenyi.
He said the Minister of Environment, Hajia Hadiza Mailafia, gave the hint when he visited the agency, stating that President Goodluck Jonthan, Vice-President Namadi Sambo and other members of FEC recite the second stanza of the national anthem as national prayer, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The minister said FEC was committed toward ensuring that all public functions followed suit. NOA has been advocating for the adoption of the second stanza as national prayer at public functions. This, NOA said, would help to engender the spirit of cohesion and unity in supplication to God in the country.
According to the NOA DG, the practice of saying separate prayers by different religious faithful at public functions divides the group along religious lines.
The second stanza reads:
“Oh God of creation.
“Direct our noble course.
“Guide our leaders right.
“Help our youths the truth to know.
“In love and honesty to grow and living just and true.
“Great lofty heights attain.
“To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.”
NAN reports that Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and his Niger State counterpart, Aliyu Babangida, had similarly adopted the second stanza as official prayers at all public functions and school in their states.
Mailafia, however, commended the agency for championing the campaign and urged the NOA not to relent in its effort at promoting patriotism, love and respect for national symbols.