Alhaji Abdul Ganiyu Folorunsho Abdul-Razaq: A titan worth emulating

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Born on the first day of the week being Sunday, November 13, 1927 in Onitsha, the present Anambra State and died on the last day of the week, being Saturday July 25, 2020. Alhaji Abdul Ganiyu Folorunsho Abdul-Razaq hailed from Yerimisa Compound in the Idigba Quarters of Pakata Area in Ilorin, Ilorin West local government area of kwara state. His mother was a daughter of the Onikatako family in the Gaa Aremu Quaters of the same Pakata Area of Ilorin. He was largely brought up at Onitsha in the present day Anambra State which accounted for his obtainance of his elementary education in the defunct Eastern Region. His incredibly rich life story reflects the tapestry of modern Nigerian history.

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A priceless man from Ilorin (in North Central Nigeria) though he was born in Onitsha in the South-eastern part of the country; and had part of his secondary education in Buguma in today’s South-south geo-political zone. He began his university education in Ibadan. He was among the pioneer students who were first admitted into the Nigerian Premier University, the University of Ibadan. Upon completing his studies at the then University College, Ibadan, the pioneer Lawyer of Northern Nigerian origin sailed to the Great Britain where he obtained Master’s degree in History, Post-Graduate Diploma in Education and L.LB. On february,1955 He was eventually called to the bar and thereby preceeding his fellow Northerners such as Mohammad Bello and Mamman Nasir as well as Justice Buba Ardo who were admitted into the bar some months after him.

Late Alhaji Abdul Ganiyu Folorunsho Abdul-Razaq ,who was the Mutawali of Ilorin before his demise later have his base as a lawyer of repute in the Kaduna-Zaria axis in the north-west; while his legal practices and political excursion took him to Maiduguri in the north-east, where he was appointed national legal adviser of the then Northern People’s Congress, the position he held throughout the country’s First Republic.

He married to Alhaja Raliat AbdulRazak, the mother of his children, who is also the first female Councilor in Northern Nigeria and the first female to drive a car all-over the North of the Niger.
His outstanding children include Dr. Alimi AbdulRazak, a national figure in politics and public administration; Hajiya Hairat AbdulRazak-Gwadabe who represented the Federal Capital Territory in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 1999 and 2003; Alhaji Isiaka AbdulRazak, Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; Alhaji AbdulRahaman AbdulRazak the Kwara State Governor-elect, a political colosus and Chairman, First Fuel, the March 9th 2019 govermorship election produced him as the Kwara State Governor-elect; Hajiya Aisha Lawal, Widow of the late Governor of Kwara State, Muhammad Alabi Lawal (1999-2003), and Alhaji AbdulRauf Baba AbdulRazak, an Abuja-based business Magnate.

An erudite schorlar and a man of many honour, He was the first Ilorin man to be appointed a Diplomat, first from Ilorin to serve as a Federal Minister as well as the first Commissioner of Finance in Kwara State. He also emerged as the first Senior Advocate of Nigeria from the State of Harmony. He was the first Mutawali of Ilorin and Tafidan of Zaria. AbdulRazak was also the first Kwaran to single-handedly establish a Secondary School in the State. He was the Chairman of
the Body of Benchers, President of Nigerian Stock Exchange.

However, the case, personality and permeability of the subject of this piece is not only more colourful but unapologetically more unique than those of his contemporaries. This is because the nation, particularly Kwara State, is yet to produce a more historic and more professionally accomplished man. He is certainly a unique pioneer in every ramification as he maintains the following unbeatable records of stimulating accomplishments. He was the first University graduate of Ilorin origin. He was the first Lawyer in the defunct Northern Nigeria.

A great titan in the history of Kwara state and Nigeria at large. The contributions of Alhaji A.G.F.AbdulRazak are many. He was a thorough Nationalist who used his vast knowledge of the law as a weapon to end colonialism. He participated in several constitutional conferences within and outside Nigeria. His performance astonished many leading Nationalists of his time so well that he was seen as the engine-room of the successive Northern Nigerian delegations to those conferences.

An avowed patriot and a leading Nigerian statesman, who has not only been a product of history, but a maker of history, in several respects. He would be missed for his uncountable contributions towards the development of Nigeria as a whole. May his soul continue to rest in peace.

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