It is believed that whenever a country gains its freedom or independence, one of the first things established is a national anthem.
And this is because a 'National Anthem' signifies the nation’s status on which people pride themselves.
Thus, countries like France that prides itself on freedom glorifies the spirit of rebelliousness in their anthem. While the likes of Germany, who at a time stood supreme, exalts itself above all.
But there are other countries like Ghana who, instead of pride, prays to God for guidance in their anthem...and her sister, Senegal, renders praise to mother Africa.
Be that as it may, our concern here is to explain the meaning of Nigeria's National Anthem; not the first stanza, but the second.
"Oh God of creation, direct our noble cause.
Guide our leaders right, help our youths the truth to know.
In love and honesty to grow and living just and true.
Great lofty heights attain.
To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.”
The first line of the second stanza is a plea to the Father of creation; begging Him to take control of the principles that govern our activities, which include our constitution, value system, and way of life.
And as observed in the second line, the plea continues with specifications: Guide our leaders right; urge them to walk through the pastures of integrity and dignity. May their mind be far from wrongfulness whenever it comes to decision making.
The plea also begs for the bestowal of knowledge and understanding upon our young men and women, as it goes on to say, "help our youths the truth to know the truth."
Because only then can they grow in love and honesty, as well as living a just and truthful life.
However, the fourth line can be argued to be the result of the third line because it is impossible to live a life of love and honesty without attaining a lofty state.
In conclusion, the second stanza of the National Anthem ends with placing responsibility on the youths to build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.
However, it is important to note that this nation of peace and justice can only be built by youths who have succeeded in attaining that lofty height, by living a life of love and honesty.
But how possible is it to live such life when the truth is not known?