According to sources close to the federal government that there are plans to place a ban on Christian and Muslim prayers at public functions. Spearheading the campaign is the National Orientation Agency (NOA) led by the newly appointed acting director general, Mrs Ngozi Ekeoba.
The source who talked about the plan said the NOA has been campaigning for its enforcement but is wary of the religious nature of Nigerians and at the moment is still consulting with relevant stakeholders on the issue. READ ALSO: Change! President Buhari’s appointee publicly declares his assets.
The source words: ”The new DG has been promoting it since she came on board, but she is also careful not to receive a backlash for the idea given the very religious nature of Nigerians. ”So at the moment it is not been enforced but they are pushing the idea to many people, agencies, government departments and parastatals and many are okay with the idea. The feedback so far has been positive.”
The source also revealed that the idea has been sold to the minister of information and national orientation, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. Our source attempts to get the minister’s comments on the issue were not successful as he did not pick his calls or respond to the text message sent to his phone. We however observed that the second stanza of the national anthem was recited as the opening prayer of the 8th Annual Bola Tinubu Colloquium held recently at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Among those at the event were President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, 12 state governors and revered traditional rulers across the country. A look at the Twitter handle of the NOA also reveals that the campaign is a ‘pinned tweet’ on the government agency’s handle.
The tweet reads: ”The 2nd stanza of Nigeria National Anthem is being promoted by the NOA as opening prayer at events,”