The late Alhaji Abdul Ganiyu Folorunsho Abdul-Razaq, popularly known as AGF, was the first lawyer from Northern Nigeria.
Alhaji AGF, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Life Bencher, Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR), Grande Officer De La Ordre National Cote D’Ivoire.
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A foremost lawyer, teacher, politician, humanist, philanthropist and above all, a Nigerian who loved his people.
The Tafidan Zazzau and Mutawalin Ilorin was a man of many firsts; not only in the North, but the whole of Nigeria.
The late AGF, the first child of his parents, was the first indigene of Ilorin Emirate and Northern Nigeria to acquire early education in Igbo land and South South Nigeria at primary and secondary school levels.
He was also the first Ilorin indigene to gain admission for university education in Nigeria and the United Kingdom, and the first Northern Nigerian to qualify as a lawyer and barrister.
He was the first Ilorin indigene to be appointed Nigeria’s Ambassador to a foreign land, first to be a federal minister and was the pioneer Commissioner for Finance and later Commissioner for Health in Kwara State from 1967 to 1972.
He played a major role at the conference and commission of inquiry which was set up to ensure that Ilorin and Kabba provinces remained part of Northern Nigeria.
As the Legal Adviser to the Northern People’s Congress (NPC), AGF was a member of the 1957 London Constitutional Conference where he exhibited brilliance to the surprise of older delegates at the conference.
According to an elder statesman and most read contemporary author on the history of Ilorin Emirate, Alhaji L.A.K Jimoh, AGF’s leading contributions in the creation of Kwara State and his inestimable legal victory for all traditional rulers and chieftaincy title holders to be turbaned like the rest of the North, retention of land resources by what is today Ilorin Emirate and his singular establishment of Ilorin College (now Government High School, Adeta) as the first individual private school in the state made him a leading reference in patriotism to the younger generation in Ilorin Emirate and the state in general.
Sharing the same view, another statesman and a leader of the progressives in the fight for the liberation of Kwara State in the last four decades, Chief Wole Oke, described AGF as the leading contributor, inspirator and supporter for the creation of Moro and Asa local government areas over three decades ago at a time that the overwhelming majority of the elite in the polity could not see the benefits for the creation of the two LGAs.
There is no doubt that the late AGF has left indelible footprints on all areas of human endeavour in Nigeria. He lived a fulfilled life worthy of emulation by the people he has left behind in his family and all young Nigerians who aspire to live exemplary lives.
AGF is gone, but he would remain evergreen in our memories
May Almighty Allah grant him Aljannah Firdaus and comfort all those he has left behind. Amin.
Bashir Adigun is a journalist in Abuja