Bill to curtail state flags and anthem passes second reading

Channels Television  
Updated November 30, 2012

A bill which seeks to curtail the manner by which state governments in the country come up with flags and anthems has passed second reading amidst a shouting match between two principal officers on the floor of the House of Representatives as more points of order came up from different parts of the chamber.

The bill entitled: “A bill to repeal the Flags and Coat of Arms Act Cap. F30 LFN, 2004 and to enact the National Symbols Act, and for Matters Connected Therewith”, was sponsored by Kareem Steve Sunday (Kogi).

The lawmaker, in his lead debate, said there was flagrant disregard for the national flag as many states in the country now have their own flags.

According to him, some states display only their flags while others have their own anthems. When the bill becomes law, no state will be allowed to have a state anthem and state flags, if allowed to exist, will be not more than “one quarter of the national flag,” Sunday said.

Minority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila and Deputy Leader Leo Ogor got into a heated shouting match as they vehemently maintained opposing positions.

After the ruling of Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha, who presided over the plenary with supporters of the bill carrying the day, he referred the bill to the committee on Justice for further legislative input but many members were of the opinion that he erred by ruling for the consideration of the bill when it was apparent that the “nays” were in the majority.