A federal government delegate, Chief Mike Ozekhome, yesterday, July 3, suggested to change the name Nigeria to ‘Airegin’ because the present name of the country was twisted by the colonialists and a new one would make a clean brake from the past.
During a debate on report of committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Government with Gen. Ike Nwachukwu and Mohammed Umara Kumalia as co-Chairmen, Ozekhome also proposed to change the present National Anthem to the former and older one which was written by Taiwo Akinwumi.
He also suggested the old flag that was designed with the rising sun on it to be re-introduced against the backdrop that it was peculiar with all parts of the country.
According to him, with all these changes, Nigeria would wash off the colonial legacy. “I want to move that this conference should consider changing the name of the country to reflect our originality. The name Nigeria was a colonial imposition which must be corrected. The name was given to the country by Lady Flora Shaw who later became Lady Lugard.”
“The country was known formally as the Southern and Northern Protectorates before the name change. It was changed because they said it was too long for them to pronounce. I suggested that the name should be changed from Nigeria to Airegin. It was just gotten when you write the name Nigeria from ‘Right to Left’.”
Ozekhome wan’t the first one who suggested to change the name of the country. Earlier, another delegate of the ongoing National Conference, Dr Agwu Ukiwe Okali, suggested to change the name of the country from Nigeria to ‘Naijiria’ in order to spare the country further “setbacks and embarrassment” in the international arena.
Ozekhome also supported the idea of the additional state given to the South East geo-political zone, saying that it will integrate the zone into the system.
Sources: Naij.com news, Vanguard
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