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national anthem
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International Corporate Research

Background to the Report
As a kid in primary 3 attending a neighborhood private school, one of the things I held with great pride was been sure of my ability to recite the Nigerian National Anthem correctly, all the words rightly pronounced with no mix ups. If I had depended on the early morning general recitation at the school assembly, I probably would now be part of the many that only follow the tune and hum along. But no, that wasn't going to be me. Time and time again I took my time to write out the words of the anthem and recite independently after I had memorized it from a book a few months before.

For me nothing else was going to confirm my ability than an experience at the birthday party of a neighbor I attended then as a primary 5 student.  There was a basket filled with tiny paper wraps each with something written in it. As the music played each kid passed the basket to the next kid in line until the music stopped, whoever had the basket then picks one of the wraps and the moderator un-wraps it and reads out the content. As a shy little boy who reluctantly attended the party, the last thing I wanted was to have the basket in hand when the music stops. Whatever will be in it, I didn't want to be part of it anyway. But lo and behold as the basket was passed to me, Mr. DJ paused the music, now I had to face it. My pounding heart however normalized when the moderator read the content, 'recite the National Anthem'.

After I was through the moderator could not but acknowledge, 'that boy must be attending a very good school'. It could only have been me who would raise national pride when the occasion called.

Ten years on the words remained glued to my memory as I woke up every morning in my room in the University a 3rd year student of microbiology to recite the national anthem as a duty over a period I chose for myself.

Knowing Where We Stand
While I could say this for myself, my disappointment knew little bound as I discovered many people could not boast in my boasting. Football players representing the nation in national competitions, musicians at national outings and political appointees all find it difficult to correctly recite what should be one of our national representations and exposed how sorry a situation we are in.

If Nigerians at such levels as this go way off when reciting the anthem then how many more do not even know the opening statements.

Some say 'knowing the problem makes it half solved', so we needed to arrive at a believable picture of how close or far off we are as a nation from losing our national anthem.

International Corporate Research embarked a research study to ascertain how many Nigerians can actually recite the national anthem correctly. This is the basis for this work.

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