AbdulGaniyu AbdulRazaq (1927 – 2020) - The Nation Nigeria News

Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho AbdulRazaq, who died on July 25, at the age of 92, was the first Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) from Kwara State.

8/11/2020 1:06:00 AM

Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho AbdulRazaq, who died on July 25, at the age of 92, was the first Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) from Kwara State. He became a SAN in 1985.

Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho AbdulRazaq, who died on July 25, at the age of 92, was the first Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) from Kwara State.

He was the first university graduate of Ilorin origin, the first national legal adviser of the Northern People’s Congress (NPC), a political party in Nigeria’s First Republic, the first Ilorin indigene to be appointed a diplomat, the first from Ilorin to be appointed federal minister and the first commissioner for finance in Kwara State, which was created in 1967.

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He was the first Mutawali of Ilorin and Tafida of Zazzau(Zaria), traditional titles that indicated his stature. AbdulRazaq was also the first Kwara State indigene to establish a secondary school in the state.After his law studies and return to Nigeria, he was a member of the Northern House of Assembly from 1960 to 1962, following the country’s independence. He was the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Ivory Coast from 1962 to 1964, and a member of the federal parliament from 1964 to 1966 as minister of state for transport.

Following the violent disruption of democracy in the country in 1966, AbdulRazaq was “the man who recorded the minutes of the meeting of remnants of the First Republic Council of Ministers which eventuated in the invitation to Major-General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, the then General Officer Commanding the Nigerian Army, to form the government of the federation following the assassination of the main leaders of the First Republic.”

He became a commissioner in Kwara State from 1967 to 1972. He was chairman of the Nigerian Body of Benchers, and President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange from 2000 to 2003.ADVERTISEMENTIn a way, his death re-ignited the question of the identity of Yoruba-speaking areas in the northern part of the country dominated by Hausa-Fulani. AbdulRazaq was said to have been “the leading opposition figure to the attempt at restructuring the then Ilorin Province to become part of the defunct Western Region.”

His opposition to the move to merge the old Ilorin Province with the old Western Region was significant. “The leadership of the Yoruba-dominated Western Region regretted that a Yoruba-speaking man of that versatility and exposure always punctured their avowed commitment to sever Ilorin Province from the Hausa-Fulani dominated Northern Nigeria,” according to a source.

Significantly, AbdulRazaq was among the “49 wise men” that made up the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) which produced a new constitution for the country in the 1970s, based on the presidential system of government.He contested the governorship of Kwara State in 1979 as the candidate of the defunct Great Nigeria People’s Party (GNPP), demonstrating his desire to develop his state. Interestingly, his son, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, is the incumbent governor of Kwara State. He further demonstrated his enthusiasm for development as chairman of the organising committee of the Kwara State Industrial Development Fund launched in Lagos in 1985. He was also chairman of the Ilorin Emirate Development Committee in Lagos in the mid-1990s.

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