The National Orientation Agency (NOA), FCT, says that the agency may propose a bill to the National Assembly to empower it to prosecute those abusing the national symbols.
Mr David Dogo, Director, NOA, FCT, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday that this would help to imbibe a sense of discipline and patriotism in Nigerians.
Dogo said that national symbols represented the varied customary beliefs of Nigerians and had been part of her heritage for a very long time.
According to him, they are very important to national identity as they are easily recognised entities used to communicate the history and culture of a nation.
“These symbols could be used to instill pride and unity in a nation’s population, so those abusing them should not be spared.
“The Nigerian national symbols included the national flag, national anthem, Coat of Arms, national pledge, Naira notes among others.
“These symbols were supposed to be revered by Nigerians but the reverse is the case, as they misuse them and demean their relevance.
“The coat of arm is not supposed to be on a flag hoisted outside. It is meant to only be on ceremonial flags to be used officially.
“Most people also put the coat of arm on the president’s picture with the eagle backing him, which is wrong because, the eagle should be facing the president and not the other way round,’’ he explained.
Dogo added that must organisations and schools hoist torn flags outside their building and you find people walking or talking when the anthem is being sung, all these are wrong.
“Some people even leave the flag to fly 24 hours which is not supposed to be so; flags are meant to be hoisted from 6a.m to 6p.m and not to be left all day.
“That is why if you go to the military barracks, there is what is called the quarter guards, who hoist and bring down the flags at 6p.m everyday.
“NOA has been enlightening people, especially on the issue of hoisting torn flags and mishandling the naira. We have even gone round educating people on it yet, the result is minimal.
“ NOA has been going round pointing out to people who are abusing the national symbols to do what is right yet, no reasonable change.
“So I think if we must succeed in this campaign, then there will be need for some kind of powers to enforce, that is why I say that it may be necessary to propose a bill to National Assembly empower us to prosecute,’’ he said.
Dogo noted that the bill was necessary, to build an egalitarian nation where citizens have a sense of admiration and respect for national symbols. (NAN)