10 Nigerian Symbols and their Meaning – See Full Details.
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10 Nigerian Symbols… The story behind the inception, growth, and development of Nigeria goes beyond the world view about colonialism, having been archaeologically proven that it is the birthplace of one of the oldest human existence in history.
And all through this long time, turbulence and challenges stood strong, setting a pace in different ways, safeguarding and preserving norms, tradition and notably, national symbols.
Inventing new ones and yet again preserving them, this has been one unique feature about Nigeria. I will be doing one thing in this article and that, listing ten symbols in Nigeria and the meaning it holds.
The National Anthem
One of the most significant national symbols in Nigeria today is the National Anthem, a unique song revealing the Nigerian history, what it stands for, and what it stands to achieve. The song has a unique meaning and influence on Nigerians that whoever is within the area where it sings most show respect by standing up.
The history of the National Anthem goes far back, with the first one being in use up to 1960 before it was officially replaced by the current National Anthem dues to some lapses it had. The current national anthem lyric was gotten from the phrase of 5 notable individuals who contested for the rewrite of the new one. The phrases were then put together by the then director of police band, pa Benedict Odiase and it became the new National Anthem.
Coat of Arms of Nigeria
I don’t think there’s anyone in Nigeria who hasn’t seen the Nigerian coat of arm, except perhaps you didn’t attend primary or nursery school because that’s like the first thing you learn in school. So let’s say you’ve forgotten how the coat of arm looks like because it’s been long you came out of nursery school, I will give you a brief description about it.
The coat of arms of Nigeria contains a black shield with a wavy white pall, representing the meeting of the Niger and Benue Rivers at Lokoja. The black shield signifies Nigeria’s fertile soil, while the two supporting horses or chargers on each side represent dignity. The eagle signifies strength, while the green and white bands on the top of the shield signify the rich soil.
The red flowers at the bottom are Costus spectabilis, Nigeria’s national flower. This flower was selected for inclusion in the coat of arms as it is found all over Nigeria and also represented the beauty of the nation. On the banderole around the base is Nigeria’s national motto since 1978: “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.”
The National Pledge
Did you remember the first time you recited the national pledge? I remember mine, and it was horrible because I said things that didn’t exist in the pledge; it was like I formed my own national pledge, and I will always recite it proudly. It’s not just me; every kid did the same. So what’s the story behind the national pledge?
The Nigerian National Pledge was formed by a well-known Nigeria, Prof (Mrs.) Felicia Adebola Adedoyin in 1976. Professor Adedoyin, who was born on the 6th of November 1938, is the 2nd of 6 Children and princes from the Iji ruling house of Shaki in Shaki West LG, Oke Ogun area of Oyo State.
Her children were already familiar with reciting the Oath of Allegiance in their school in New York, USA, and also the State Pledge (Which was formed on 1 June 1976) in Achimotu School in Accra Ghana. Impulsively, out of childhood curiosity and assertiveness, they required to know why they didn’t recite any Pledge while they were in Nigeria. Of course, their mother told them the home truth; their fatherland had no National Pledge.
They finally provided the required challenge that propelled their mother to conceive and form a National Pledge for Nigeria, which she achieved in June 1976. Her amazing work, while aged 38, was printed in the Daily Times of July 15, 1976, in an article titled “Loyalty to the Nation, Pledge.”
Barrister Adewusi who was a close friend of the Adedoyins and Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, read the Daily Times article and subsequently presented it to Obasanjo in August 1976. Gen. Obasanjo, who was then Head of State, collected the work and improved it.
In September 1976, he commanded that all school children should recite the Pledge in their assemblies daily. Gen. Obasanjo recognized this rare feat in his book “Not My Will” (1990 at p
The Nigerian Naira
Everybody knows what the Nigerian Naira is, if not for anything because, at some point, we bought something with money, except perhaps you never used the money before which is virtually impossible, I mean even kids use the money this day. So here’s a brief about it.
The naira (sign: ₦; code: NGN) is the currency of Nigeria. It is divided into 100 kobos.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the only issuer of lawful tender money all through the Nigerian Federation. It controls the volume of money delivered in the economy in order to guarantee monetary and price stability. The Currency & Branch Operations Department of the CBN is in control of currency management, through the procurement, distribution/supply, processing, reissue and disposal/disintegration of banknotes and coin
Nigerian Armed Forces
Do I need to tell you about the Nigerian military? I am very sure you would never forget their fierce face. I mean it a sight you won’t forget.
The Nigerian Armed Forces are the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Its roots lie in the elements of the Royal West African Frontier Force that changed to Nigerian when independence was granted in 1960. In the year 1956, the Nigeria Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF) was named the Nigerian Military Forces, RWAFF again, and on April 1958, the colonial government of Nigeria took over from the British War Office control of the Nigerian Military Forces.
Since its inception, the Nigerian military has fought in a civil war – the conflict with Biafra in 1967–70 – and sent peacekeeping troops abroad both with the United Nations and as the pillar of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Cease-fire Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) in Liberia and Sierra Leone. It has also seized power twice at home (1966 & 1983.
In the outcome of the civil war, the much-expanded size of the military, around 250,000 in 1977, consumed a big part of Nigeria’s resources under military rule for little productive return. The great growth of the military during the civil war further rooted the existing military hold on Nigerian society carried over from the first military rule. In doing so, it played a considerable part in strengthening the military’s almost first-among-equals status within Nigerian society and the related decline in military efficiency. Olusegun Obasanjo, who by 1999 had become President, bemoaned the fact in his inaugural address that year: ‘… Professionalism has been lost… my heart bleeds to see the degradation in the proficiency of the military.’
I know what’s going through the mind, how can a flower be a national symbol? Well just read on you will understand
The red flowers at the base are called Costus spectabilis, Nigeria’s national flower. This flower was selected for inclusion in the coat of arms as it is found all over Nigeria and represents the beauty of the nation. On the banderole around the base is Nigeria’s national motto since 1978: “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress” (formerly “Peace, Unity, Freedom”)
The Nigerian Flag
The flag is an adaptation of the winning entry from Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi in a contest in 1959. Akinkunmi was a 23-year-old student at the time he designed the flag. He was studying at Norwich Technical College in London, England, when he saw an ad in a newspaper that submissions were being accepted for the design of a new national flag of Nigeria.
The original submission had a red shining sun badge in the central white vertical band with a green vertical band on each side. After the badge was detached by the judges, the flag has remained untouched.
I am sure the picture of the president will be hanging on your wall, I mean it’s in virtually every office in Nigeria. The picture of the Nigerian president may not be the first of the symbols of national identity you think about, but currently, it’s hard to think of an office of a state official without a framed photo of President Buhari on the wall – and that’s the way it should be.
Been the third largest film industry in the world by income, Nollywood has become popular far outside the Nigerian borders. Currently, hundreds of Nigerian films are released every year, and this kind of popularity earned Nollywood a spot in the top Nigerian symbols.
Sometimes I wonder what Nigeria will be like without her oil. Let’ be sincere, Nigeria won’t be what it is today without the immense contribution of oil. It’s the major source of income in Nigeria, so I won’t be wrong if I list it among the top Nigerian symbols.
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