Late Kwara governor’s dad, a thoroughbred nationalist ―  APC

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Kwara South senatorial district of Kwara state,  Engineer Sunday Adebayo Babalola has described late Alhaji Abdulganiyu Folohunsho Abdulrazaq, dad of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, as a patriot and a thoroughbred nationalist.

In his statement of tribute on Tuesday, Engineer Babalola said that the flag of Kwara state should be flown at half-mast for seven days in honour of this great patriot, “as one of the founding fathers of Kwara state”.

The politician, who commiserated with the Abdulrazaq’s family, Emir of Ilorin and people of Kwara state, said that the death of the elder statesman should not be seen as a loss because late Alhaji AGF Abdulrazaq lived an exemplary life.

“The present Kwara State with Ilorin being its capital was created through the patriotic zeal and relentless efforts of the duo of Late Chief J.S. Olawoyin and Late Alhaji AGF Abdul-Razaq. So, I think they should be immortalized.

“Alhaji AGF Abdul-Razaq SAN was a great man, who played significant roles in the struggle towards the realization of Nigeria’s independence. He did not only break the record of being the first Lawyer and first Senior Advocate of Nigeria in the Northern Region, but available records also show that he was the first University graduate Ilorin Emirate ever produced.

“Late Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho Abdul-Razaq was a unique individual whose records in public service is so difficult to match.

“The history of Nigeria independence struggle and its accomplishment featured significantly the visionary inputs and iconic voice of Alhaji AGF Abdul-Razaq. He was a revered nationalist and elder statesman.

“Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho Abdul-Razaq was the First National Legal Adviser of Northern Peoples Congress and performed excellently well in that portfolio.

Upon Nigeria’s independence, Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho Abdul-Razaq served as a special member of the Northern House of Assembly between 1960 – 1962. In 1962 – 1964, he was Nigerian Ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). Pa AGF Abdul-Razaq was Nigeria’s Minister of State for Transport between 1964 to 1966.

After 29th July 1966 coup, the then Military Governor of Northern Region, Major General Hassan Usman Katsina convened a meeting of leaders of thoughts in Kaduna. Late Chief JS Olawoyin and Late Alhaji AGF Abdul-Razaq were invited to represent the then Ilorin province at the meeting.

It was at one of the sessions of the meeting that Late Chief JS Olawoyin moved a motion that both Ilorin and Kabba provinces, be merged and created as a State with Headquarters at Ilorin. The motion was seconded by Late Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho Abdul-Razaq.

On 27th May 1967, Kwara State was created as Central West State. My uncle, Major David Lasisi Bamigboye, was appointed as the first Military Governor of Kwara State and the first-ever Governor of Kwara State.

As a man who prized service to his people and community beyond personal aggrandizement and ego, having served the nation meritoriously in various capacities, following the creation of Kwara State in 1967, he came back home to serve as the first Commissioner for Finance, Health and Social Welfare under my uncle between 1967 – 1972.

Pa AGF Abdul-Razaq was President of Nigerian Stock Exchange between 2000 to 2003. His three years reign as President of NSE was eventful as his technocratic astuteness and skills strengthen the competitiveness of our nation’s stock exchange sector.

It must also be stated that Late Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho Abdul-Razaq was a politically detribalised leader, who put selfless interest above sectional, religious and personal interest. His heart of patriotism was displayed in 1979 when as Governorship Candidate of Great Nigeria Peoples Party (GNPP), he stepped down in the governorship race for the then Governorship Candidate of Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Chief JS Olawoyin, a Christian and a Kwara Southerner from the ancient city of Offa.

The life, sacrifices and times of this Great Nigerian is an example and a point of reference to all our politicians of today; particularly Kwara Politicians, most especially the youths in politics. We must endeavour to draw inspirations from the duo of Late Alhaji AGF Abdul-Razaq and Late Chief JS Olawoyin who were so selfless during their days, as they thoroughly put patriotism and selflessness ahead of personal and sectional interest. I consider it a blessing that these two core patriots hailed from our dear Kwara State.

The death of Alhaji AGF Abdul-Razaq SAN, OFR, on Saturday 27th July 2020, is not a loss, as some people portrayed it in their condolences.

“From Allah we came and to Him, we shall all return”.

Pa AGF Abdul-Razaq having accomplished greatly in life with solid footprints on the sands of time died at the age of 93 years. So, what is a loss about the death of an accomplished man who obviously fulfilled his mission on the planet earth? Baba AGF Abdul-Razaq died at a time he had fulfilled his mission and at an advanced age! We should rather say “Alhamdulillah Robil A’alameena” for him and wish Allah grants him eternal bliss, and then pray for ourselves to end well like him.

It was reported that at the later stage of Papa AGF Abdul-Razaq in life, he prayed that he wished one of his sons becomes Governor of Kwara State, the office he once aspired for. Oh, what a selfless father indeed, who desired something great he couldn’t accomplish for his child. This prayer was answered by Almighty Allah even at a time that Pa AGF Abdul-Razaq was on the planet earth. So, he died a fulfilled man whom God favoured by answering his secret prayers!

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The emergence of Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq as Executive Governor of Kwara State is a reward from God to the patriotism and selflessness displayed by Pa AGF AbdulRazaq. Verily, whatever good or bad done by us shall surely live after us.

I pray that Almighty Allah showers His loving-kindness upon the family he left behind and may they be granted divine grace to sustain his legacies.

The contributions of Late Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho Abdul-Razaq to society development was marvellous! God indeed used him, as it was through his efforts that some people were privileged to be educated in those days. He founded the first privately owned Secondary School in Kwara State, Ilorin College, now Government High School Ilorin, he played a coordinating role in the founding of Ilorin Grammar School.

Late Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho Abdul-Razaq has played his part during that active stage in his life and history will forever be kind to him.

Late Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho Abdul-Razaq, Late Chief JS Olawoyin and their likes deserved to be immortalised by us.

Death is an inevitable debt which we shall all pay. It is the reason that we should be of a good report while we are here on earth. Like the Bible says, he fought a good fight, he finished his course. It is my humble prayer that may we likewise finish well too!

I pray Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala to forgive his misdeeds, reward his good deeds, accept his return unto Him, placed him amongst His righteous servants and admit him into Al-Jannat Firdaus. Amen.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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