Were you aware that the first President of Nigeria was a member of Phi Beta Sigma? Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe pledged the Mu Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. on the campus of Lincoln University.
Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe served as the first President of Nigeria after it took independence from Great Britain in 1960. He is known as “Zik” and is known as the father of Nigerian Nationalism. He was the driving force behind the independence of Nigeria from Great Britian.
As a young student he transferred from Howard to Lincoln University to receive his B.A. in Political Science. He simultaneously received his master’s degree in Religion from Lincoln University and his master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. He became a member of the Nigerian Youth Movement which sparked his political career. He later became governor-general before being named President of Nigeria in 1963, a position he held until 1966.
In the Fall of 1931, Bro. Chief Azikiwe wrote an ode to the motherland in Phi Beta Sigma’s Crescent Magazine. His poem reads:
Dear paradise of stately palms,
Oh wonderland of God!
The chanting winds in tropic qualms
Now soothe thy wearied sod,
While Phoebus glows mid heavenly psalms
In its supernal nod.
For leaders unalloyed by gold
Or wiles o mortal man,
We supplicate that thou might mold
Our sons in this brief span—
To stand for virtues true and bold,
All artifice to scan.
Protect us from designs of hate
And lustre of the flesh;
May we repel the will of fate
When bondage, we enmesh,
And in the end we’ll fling the gate
Of love to bloom afresh!
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