Tinubu, Saraki mourn death of first Lawyer in Northern Nigeria


National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has described the death of the first lawyer in Northern Nigeria, AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho AbdulRasaq a.k.a AGF, as the end of an important era in this country.

He described late lawyer as a nationalist in its true definition and a pan-Nigerian in all its adoring flavours.

Late AbdulRazaq, the father of Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulrRasaq, died in the early hours of Saturday in Abuja.

He passed away less than four months to his 93rd birthday.

He was Nigeria’s Ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire and also served as the first Kwara State Commissioner for Finance after the state was created in 1967.

Late AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho AbdulRasaq a.k.a AGF.

Tinubu, in an emotional condolence statement he personally signed, said: “The passing at 93 of the iconic patriot and elder statesman, Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho Abdulrasaq, popularly known as AGF, signifies the end of another era in the annals of this country.”

According to him, “The likes of AGF were the proverbial hewers of wood and drawers of water who laboured hard for the strong foundation upon which our dear country was erected.

“He was there in the thick of all the nationalistic struggles and negotiations during the transition from colonial era to an independent Nigeria.

“A nationalist in its true definition and a pan-Nigerian in all its adoring flavours, Papa Abdulrasaq did a lot for this country. He was an educationist who founded the first privately-owned secondary school, Ilorin College in Ilorin, now known as Ilorin Government High School, in the old Ilorin Province.

“He was an active player during the nascent post-independence period of the 1960’s, helping to stitch together the multi-interest and diverse expectations of the peoples of this country.

“AGF gave his very best to our country as a top legal practitioner, indeed the first lawyer to emerge from the Northern part of Nigeria, who also rose to become the Chairman, Council of Body of Benchers.

“He was also many more in his unparalleled service to the country: a technocrat whose era as President, Nigeria Stock Exchange, helped to bolster the competitiveness of our stock exchange sector; a politician who was the first National Legal Adviser of the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC); Minister of State for Railway; a diplomat who was Nigeria’s Ambassador to Cote D’viore (Ivory Coast), and a foremost community leader, the Mutawalli of Ilorin Emirate and Tafida of Zaazau (Zaria).

“The departure of the highly revered AGF, the father of Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, has left a huge vacuum in our national life.

“I commiserate with Governor Abdlurasaq, I mourn with his brother, Alhaji Alimi Abdulrasaq, and their other siblings. My condolences also to Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, and the good people of Ilorin and Kwara State over the demise of their most illustrious son.

“I hope and pray that Munificent Allah grant them the strength and fortitude only He can provide in order to live after Papa’s passing. May Almighty Allah also reward Papa of his good deeds, forgive his shortcoming and admit him to Aljanna Firdaus.”

Similarly, former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has described the death of Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho Abdul-razaq, Mutawalli of Ilorin as a loss of one of the statesmen produced by Kwara State.

Saraki in a statement released in Abuja noted that the late senior advocate who died at the age of 93 had lived a good life and contributed his own quota to the development of Kwara State and Nigeria in general.

“The late AGF as he was fondly called by people who knew him will be sorely missed and I believe he did his best in the service of our people in Kwara State and Nigeria as a lawyer, politician, diplomat and President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange”, Saraki noted.

Saraki who is the Waziri of Ilorin commiserated with Dr. Alimi Abdulrazaq and his siblings, the entire family of the deceased, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, the entire Ilorin Emirate and the people of Kwara State. He also prayed that Almighty Allah forgive the sins of the late Abdulrazaq and grant him a place in Aljannah Firdaus.

Announcing the death of his father on Saturday, a former Executive Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Alimi AbdulRasaq, said: “With total submission to the will of the Almighty Allah, the AbdulRazaqs of Ilorin Emirate of Kwara State hereby announce the passing of their patriarch and statesman Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho Abdul-Razaq SAN (OFR) at the age of 93 in Abuja. He was born in 1927.

”The Mutawali of Ilorin and Tafida of Zazzau (Zaria), who was Chairman of the Nigerian Body of Benchers, died peacefully at about 2am on Saturday July 25th, 2020 (the 4th day of Dhul-Hijjah 1441 AH.)

“The first lawyer from the Northern Region is survived by his 90-year-old wife, Alhaja Raliat AbdulRazaq, illustrious children, including incumbent Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, and grandchildren.

”Arrangement for his interment will be announced by the family shortly.”

By Idowu Sowunmi &Tobiloba Kolawole