Arise, O Compatriots

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Arise, O Compatriots was adopted as the Nigerian national anthem in 1978, replacing Nigeria We Hail Thee, which had previously been the national anthem from 1960.

The lyrics are a combination of words and phrases taken from five of the best entries in a national contest to write the words to the new anthem. The words were put to music by the Nigerian Police Band under the directorship of Benedict Elise Odiase.


Arise, O compatriots,
Nigeria’s call obey
To serve our Fatherland
With love and strength and faith.
The labour of our heroes past
Shall never be in vain,
To serve with heart and might
One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity.

O God of creation,
Direct our noble cause;
Guide our Leaders right:
Help our Youth the truth to know,
In love and honesty to grow,
And live in just and truth,
Great lofty heights attain,
To build a nation where peace and justice reigns.


Nigerian Police Band under the directorship of B. E. Odiase
John A. Ilechukwu, Eme Etim Akpan, B. A. Ogunnaike, Sota Omoigui and P.O. Aderibighe
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