A Comparative Analysis Of Humanitarian Strides Of The Abdulrazaqs And The Sarakis In Kwara Part I By Moshood Oniyangi

INTRODUCTION

A Yoruba adage says, “ojo ori ko’lagba laiye”, and as Ilorin people would usually say, “kagba f’olohun niisinmi, kadara koseko laigba”, meaning that seniority is not determined by chronology and that accepting Allah’s will is the source of rest because destiny can never be altered.

Lawyer Abdulrazaq Abdulganiy popularly known as ‘AGF Abdulrazak’, who is the father of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq had on several occasions denigrated the worthy achievements and accomplishments of the late Waziri of Ilorin, Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki.

AGF Abdulrazaq was also fond of treating the late Saraki with high level of contempt. The climax of this was reflected in the controversial interview AGF granted a national magazine prior the conduct of 2011 general elections, where he made series of false accusations, lies and derogatory remarks against the late Oloye as he was fondly called.

One of such scathing remarks made by AGF Abdulrazaq was that the late Saraki did not belong here, insinuating that he was a bastard in Ilorin Emirate. This amidst other inciting statements of the foremost lawyer triggered divergent views among people within the state and beyond.

During the course of the interview, AGF Abdulrazaq also talked about the developmental strides, contributions and achievements of his family and that of the Sarakis to Ilorin Emirate while also undermining the contributions of the Sarakis.

THEIR ANTECEDENT

Historically, Lawyer AGF AbdulRasak who hails from Yerimisa Compound, Idigba area, Adeta Ilorin, was born in Onitsha in 1927 in a community largely dominated by the Hausas. He had his primary and secondary education in Onitsha. He was one of the pioneer students of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan alongside Chinua Achebe, where he studied Law. Thereafter, he left the country for London to pursue his Master’s Degree in History, but later studied Law in a London University and was called to bar in 1955, alongside kayode Esho, a retired Justice from Osun State. He ran his private Law Firm and bountifully succeeded in it.

Indeed, he was the first university graduate in Ilorin Emirate and the first lawyer and second Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in the whole Northern Region. His renowned fame in legal profession in Nigeria earned him a prestigious status, the pioneer and the sole legal
adviser of one of the First Republic political parties (Northern People’s Congress), the party which produced the first Premier of the Northern Region, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, and the first and the last Prime Minister in the political history of Nigeria, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.

In 1962, Lawyer Abdulrasak, as a result of his tremendous accomplishments in his profession was appointed the Ambassador of Nigeria to Cote d’ivoire on the same day the immediate ex-Ado Bayero of Kano was named Ambassador of Nigeria to Senegal. This appointment eventually resulted to Lawyer AbdulRasak’s meeting with an Ilorin business mogul, Alh. Mukhtar Saraki, the father to the late Waziri of Ilorin, Dr. Olusola Saraki and grandfather to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, whose affluence positively impacted on the lives of uncountable people both within and outside Nigeria.

Alhaji Mukhtar was a very famous businessman in Lagos, Ghana, Ivory Coast now Cote d’ivoire and a host of other African countries. An undisputed fact has it that Mukhtar Saraki was not only prominent but also richer than the entire Cote d’ivoire, the country where AGF had gone to serve Nigeria as her ambassador.

It is on record that before business took Mukhtar Saraki to Cote d’ivoire, one Emmanuel Alabi was the leader of Nigerians in the country at that time, but following his arrival into the country and owing to his influence and uncommon service to humanity, he was unanimously chosen by Nigerians living in the country to be their leader. This is another testament that the Sarakis are naturally imbued with leadership qualities.

From the foregoing, one would agree that Saraki was an accomplished and very successful businessman who made his money out of politics. In fact, it was reported that Saraki never had interest in politics but was encouraged to join politics by AGF Abdulrazaq.

The success and impacts of AGF Abdulrazaq in Ilorin/Kwara..

In 1964, Lawyer AbdulRazaq contested for a seat in the House of Representatives and won. Having won the election and in line with the tenet of parliamentary system in operation as at that time, he was appointed Minister of State for Transport
(Railway) alongside Maitama Sule and Akinjide.

He was appointed the pioneer Kwara State Commissioner for Finance in 1967, a position he held till he decided to quit and face his legal profession. One of the questions that will be racing through the minds of those reading this article will be that “What were his contributions to the development of his immediate community, Idigba not to talk of Ilorin and Kwara as whole when he held all these attractive political posts?.”

To be continued…