Former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has
cautioned Nigerians from inscribing the coat of arms on the national flag,
saying doing so is a misuse of the national colours.
Fashola said this on Monday, during a live appearance on
Channels Television’s Empowering Tomorrow: A New Vision for Nigeria, a special
programme on the 63rd anniversary of Nigeria’s independence celebrated annually
on October 1.
“Just this afternoon, I was asked to hoist a flag of
Nigeria,” Fashola said. “By the time the flag unfurled, I saw that there was a
coat of arms in the middle and I whispered to my host that ‘this is not the
flag of Nigeria’. Nigeria’s flag does not have a coat of arms in the middle. It
is green, white, and green.”
The former minister also said that Nigerians should pay
attention to “some of the small things that matter” adding that national
symbols are to be rendered during recognised events for the country at large.
“When I was in primary school, these were the symbolisms of
those Independence Day parades, Children’s Day parades, and this was how we
were taught to stand up or maintain our position whenever we heard Nigeria’s
national anthem being rendered,” Fashola said.
“You sit today and you shudder in your skin what happens
today, what people have been taught when the national anthem is rendered.”
The former governor of Lagos also spoke out against the
rendition of the national anthem “at every little event”, including when the
president appears at a social event, saying it is to be sung as the symbol of
the country’s sovereignty.
“I have had cause to ask people not to sing the anthem for
me, either as governor or minister, because I’m not a sovereign. It’s a
projection of our minds,” he said.
“These are, for me, the important things to talk about and
that’s why I say this anniversary provides an opportunity for reflection and,
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