A drama almost played out on Friday in the Senate over the recitation of Nigeria’s national anthem.
While the lawmakers were holding a special session to screen ministerial nominees presented by President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi) stood up to asked a couple of questions.
The lawmaker directed his questions to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Festus Keyamo, who stood on the floor of the Senate as one of the nominees.
Senator Melaye’s inquiries bordered on Mr Keyamo’s qualification to hold the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
He said, “I start by congratulating my ‘paddy’ and friend, Festus Keyamo, and our relationship actually dates some years back, not recent. I just want to start by saluting your intellectual.
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“I want to quote Section 174 of the Constitution and then ask my question in that regard, section 150 talks about who is qualified to be Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.”
After asking about two questions relating to his qualification for the office, Senator Melaye asked Keyamo to recite the nation’s anthem.
“I just want to say that as a versatile minster, I know you to be intellectually mobile, you recite the second stanza of the national anthem,” he said.
However, the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan, interjected and asked the legal practitioner to ignore the recitation of the national anthem.
“That is not a question,” Senator Lawan told Senator Melaye, adding, “You have asked very direct questions.”
It is believed that a number of Nigerians cannot recite the national anthem fluently.
The nation’s anthem is mostly sung to mark the commencement of activities in primary and secondary schools, as well as government events among others.