… AGF is no doubt well educated and highly successful in his profession of choice. But to what extent has he been able to impact on the people of his immediate community? It is expected of an influential man in the caliber of AGF to have made significant contributions to the development of his community but this is not the case with Abdulrazaq. His impacts in Ilorin and Kwara State in general are abysmally low when compared to the contributions of the Late Waziri of Ilorin.
It is unfortunate that someone of AGF’s caliber cannot boast of any significant contribution or developmental stride in the entire Ilorin Emirate. Although he established a private school in Ilorin and that time, he declared that it was not set up for children of the less privileged. He was often quoted to have said “Mio ko School mi fun awon ti baba won n hun Aso ni Idi-ofi”, meaning “I did not build my school for children whose fathers are weavers of Aso Oke.” This clearly shows that his intention for establishing the school was not to serve the masses, and also revealed his contempt for the downtrodden in the society. Thank God the State government later assumed the ownership of the school and renamed it Government High School (GHS), Adewole, which made it possible for children of the less privileged to attend the school.
In 1972, the late Saraki and AGF were both made chief launchers for the execution of one communal road project in Ilorin, and at the event, they both individually pledged a sum of 10,000 pounds. But while Baba in his usual character fulfiled his pledge, AGF failed to redeem his pledge to the dismay of the organisers, despite the fact that he was even more financially buoyant than Baba Saraki.
For the avoidance of doubt, AGF only dropped 1,000 out of the 10,000 pounds he pledged, while Baba Saraki not only made a 10,000 pounds donation as promised but also added another 9,000 pounds for the successful execution of the road project.
As a great philanthropist, The late Abubakar Olusola Saraki was fond of being the highest donor during fundraising for any Community developmental project in Ilorin while he was alive. He was the highest donor during the launching of Ilorin City Hall in 1991, donating a sum of 1,000, 000 naira. During Ilorin Foundation Laying Launching, he donated a sum of 250,000 naira.
Baba was also the highest donor during the fundraising for the construction of Ilorin Central Mosque – he donated a huge sum of N250,000. He also invited friends,business and political associates across the globe who also made donations during the fundraising. The mosque was officially commissioned in 1981.
AGF Abdulrazaq was nowhere to be found during the fundraising for this significant project of the Emirate. Though he was financially buoyant — even more than the late Saraki – he always found it difficult to contribute to or participate in any communal project.
Apart from all these, Baba Saraki’s contributions to the renovation and construction of many mosques like Agbaji, Aberi/ Isale Aluko, Ode Alfa-Nda, Ali Agan and a host of others cannot be over-emphasized. The late Waziri sponsored large number of Kwarans to perform Umrah and Hajj every year. He also facilitated the rehabilitation and construction of roads within Ilorin such as the road at Agbaji, linking Ajikobi road to Popo-Igbona.
It was these kind gestures and other numerous humanitarian acts of Baba Saraki that endeared him to the people and earned him the traditional title of “Turaki of Ilorin” in 1974 following the demise of the previous holder of the title, Sanni Olanrewaju Buremo Okin. He was later decorated with a higher title ‘Waziri of Ilorin’.
It is instructive to note that AGF started politics before the late Saraki. However, his miserliness and I-don’t-care-attitude made him lose the respect, confidence and love the good people of Ilorin hitherto had for him. As one Yoruba adage says, “akilahun niyi”, meaning that stinginess and honour are rarely found together.
Having found in Baba Saraki, a great philanthropist and compassionate leader, the people of Ilorin showered him uncommon love and regard.
Saraki was altruistic in nature and approached politics with the intention to genuinely serve his people unlike the antics played on them by AGF. Baba Saraki explored his political influence to facilitate top federal positions for several Ilorites such as Alhaji Oniyangi, former Minister of Commerce, Defense and Industry, Alhaji Aremu, former Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, and a host of others.
In the Second Republic, Saraki was the major financier of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN), the ruling party in the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 1st of October, 1979 to 31st of December, 1983. During this period, Saraki served as the Senate Leader in the National Assembly.
During the various military interregnums, the Late Saraki participated actively in the transitional programmes of these eras, which made him well-known across the country.
The late Saraki was undoubtedly the stabilizer of Kwara State politics. His integrity, trustworthiness and strong passion for the people stood him out among politicians of his time. He was the sole political godfather in the State.
Several Kwarans benefited from his political influence. He was directly involved in the emergence of all the civilian governors in the State – from Alahaji Adamu Attah (1979-1983), C. O. Adebayo (1983-1983), Alhaji Shaaba Lafiagi (!992-1993), Alhaji Alabi Muhammed Lawal (1999-2003), and Bukola Saraki (2003-2011).
It is clear from the foregoing that the Late Saraki’s generosity and humanitarian strides made him popular and influential than any other politician of his time including AGF Abdulrazaq, whose influence is not in any way felt by the people of his immediate community.
AGF has no contribution to the development of his community, despite how wealthy he is. One needs to visit Idi-Igba/Oke-Agodi to confirm this and to also know what people say about him. Those who doubt this may wish to provide answers to the following questions:
*When AGF was a member of the House of Representatives, what were his achievements?
*How many people did he assist politically as at the time he was seen as the political champion in Ilorin, before Saraki fully came to limelight of politics?
*What are AGF’s contributions towards the developmental projects executed by IEDPU?
*Has AGF’s family solely executed a project for the sake of the masses in Idigba community or anywhere in Ilorin?
It is sad that an influential man like a AGF who was decorated with the traditional titles – Mutawali of Ilorin and Tafidan of Zaria and whose children are also rich, cannot boast of a befitting Family House. What can be seen at Yerimisa Compound are very old buildings. Could it be that AGF and his children have no respect and love for their family members or why have they decided to neglect them?
History has it that when the people of Idigba Community were planning to set up a community primary health centre, they contacted the late Gen. AbdulKareem Adisa whose maternal relatives were in Idigba and had been very useful to Idigba people. Gen. Adisa told them to go and meet the Abdulrasaqs because one of Lawyer Abdulrasak’s children was richer than him, and that was Abdulrasak Abdulrahman. Unfortunately, when he (Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman) was contacted, he failed to come to bring solace to his own people. This shows how valueless he is to his own people.
It was Gen. Adisa that later provided funds for the construction of the healthcare centre, drainages, graded and asphalted the Idigba community roads.
To be Continued.