The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has kicked against the recent adoption of the Oodua Anthem in public schools by the Ondo State government.
The state government had in a circular dated May 6 and signed by the Permanent Secretary of the State Teaching Service Commission, Tolu Adeyemi, made it mandatory for students in public schools to recite the anthem in all functions in public secondary schools across the state.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had also warned that the anthem, which is now being used by Oduduwa Republic agitators was approved for the public schools in the state and not for any secession agenda.
However, in a statement signed by the NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the forum faulted Akeredolu for taking such a decision, adding such the introduction was “a very serious assault on the integrity of Nigeria.”
The forum also condemned the move, insisting that it would further alienate sections of the Nigerian society.
The statement reads: “If this is true, it represents a very serious assault on the integrity of the country by people who have sworn to uphold and protect it.
“There’s only one anthem our children should sing and recognize. If there are other symbols with cultural significance they should be made to identify with, it should not be elevated to the level of a national anthem, or even supersede it.
“If the federal government is on its toes protecting the boundaries of our unity and national integrity, it would challenge this in court.”