A.G.F ABDULRAZAQ SAN; Development of Kwara State: A Matter of Conscience By Prof Amuda-Kannike (SAN)

PROF ABIODUN AMUDA-KANNIKE SAN, FCIArb

A.G.F ABDULRAZAQ SAN; DEVELOPENT OF KWARA STATE:
A MATTER OF CONSCIENCE

A PAPER PRESENTED BY PROF. A. AMUDA-KANNIKE, SAN, FCIArb, THE DEAN, FACULTY OF LAW, KWARA STATE UNIVERSITY, MALETE, VIA ILORIN, KWARA STATE ON THE OCASSION ORGANISED BY NEGRO CONSULT NIGERIA LIMITED; FIRST POST-HUMOUS LECTURE DELIVERED ON JULY 13TH, 2021 AT THE BANQUET HALL, OPPOSITE GOVERNMENT HOUSE, ILORIN, KWARA STATE.

                                           Presenter Tel. No: 08033256756; 
                              Email: amudakannikeabiodun@gmail.com

INTRODUCTION

My plight today is like that of the proverbial mosquito that arrived the novice camp, surveyed the environment, examined the potential victims and was forced to ask itself the inevitable question, where do I start from?

Where do I start from? Any discussion about the life and times of Late icon A.G.F. AbdulRazaq will definitely elicit the very question, where do I start from? The question is inevitable because he left indelible marks in various spheres of human endeavors which are worthy of discussing and worthy of emulation. It was SHANNON ALDER who said; “Carve your name on hearts not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you”

The late A.G.F. AbdulRazaq carved his name in our hearts and left legacies in our minds. This is why we shall continue to share the stories of a life well spent. As stated by William Shakespeare in Julius Ceaser;

“His life was gentle and the elements.
So mixed in him that nature might stand up
And say to all the world. THIS WAS A MAN”

Indeed, A.G.F. AbdulRazaq was a man of many parts. And as a man of many parts, he excelled in all. I acknowledge that it will be cumbersome if not practically impossible to exhaust his numerous achievements within the limit of this discuss, However let me therefore crave your indulgence to forgive me, if
some of his achievements are not mentioned here.

In this papers, we are to discuss A.G.F. AbdulRazaq, SAN,
Development of Kware State. A matter of conscience. In doing so, I shall limit the discussion to three concepts which I consider germane to our present discussion. I will therefore attempt to define and probably provide elaborate analysis on each of this concepts. I have decided to proceed with this discussion under the following headings:
The MAN A.G.F ABDULRASAQ
The creation and development of Kwara State with specific focus on the contributions of A.G.F. AbdulRazaq
A matter of conscience: A duty incumbent on us all to see to the development of Kwara State taking A.G.F. AbdulRazaq as our example.

Birth and Early Life
Late A.G.F Abdulrasaq was born on 13th day of November, 1927. He was born in Onitcha in the present day of Anambra State to the family of Hajia Munirat and Alh. AbdulRazaq of Yerinsa quarters Idi Agba Area of Ilorin in the present Ilorin West Local Government. The young A.G.F. AbdulRazaq stated his primary education at United African School – 1935, before proceeding to CMS central school Onitsha – 1938, where he concluded his primary education in 1943.

Between 1944 -1945, he was a student of Kalabari National Collage, Buguma. He later proceeded to Onitsha, where he concluded his secondary education in 1947. He was among the pioneer students of University of Ibadan. He successfully concluded his education and proceeded to London where he obtained, Masters Degree in history, Post Graduate Diploma in Education, and also a Degree in Law. He was called to Bar as a lawyer in the year 1955 and was elevated to the rank of a senior advocate of Nigeria in 1985.

DEFINITION OF TERMS
Development is a process that creates growth, progress, positive change or the addition of physical, economic, environmental, social and demographic components. It is said that the purpose of development is a rise in the level and quality of life of the population and the creation or expansion of local regional income and employment opportunities, without damaging the resources of the environment. The definition of development however varies from time to time and from environment to environment.

Furthermore, development cannot only be defined as an improvement in people’s well-being. Development also means lasting change. It therefore conveys capacity of economic, political and social systems which tend to provide the circumstances for that well-being on a sustainable long-term basis. There are however, several concepts of development and issues, such as Todaro meaning of development, Mabojunje alternative interpretations of development, Marxist view of development, Neo-Colonial Dependence Model, sustainable development, e.t.c.

The word “Conscience” connote, a person’s sense of right and wrong, viewed as acting as a guide to one’s behaviours.

The meaning of the word “Conscience” can also be seen in the noun as follow The inner sense of what is right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action.
The complex of ethical and moral principles that controls or inhibits the actions or thoughts of an individual.
An inhibiting sense of what is prudent.
Conscientiousness
Obsolete, Consciousness, Self-Knowledge
Observance.

Conscience is a cognitive process that elicits emotion and rational associations based on an individual’s moral philosophy or value system. Conscience is also described as having the feeling of remorse when a person commits an act that conflicts with their moral values. The word “conscience” derives etymologically from the Latin word “conscientia” meaning “privity of knowledge” or “with knowledge”. Conscience is an open wound, only nurtured by the truth.

It was IDOWU KOYENIKAN Wealth for all Living a Life of Success at the Edge of your ability that wrote;
“we do not get to choose how we stand out in life, we do not get to choose the day we are born or the family we are born into what we are named at birth, what community we are born in and we do not get to choose our ancestry. All these things are predetermined by a higher power. By the time you are old enough to start making decisions for yourself a lot of things in your life are already in place. It is important therefore, that you focus on the future the only thing that you can change”

Without mincing words, late A.G .F Abdulrasaq, was able to change his environment through meaningful and purposeful contributions he made in the society which resulted in significant development of the state.

What then were his contributions which resulted in the development of the state.

Creation of Kwara State
Kwara State was created in 1967 as one of the 12 states that were created by the then Military Government. Kwara State is located in the North-Central Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria. The State is equally a peaceful state and popularly known as the State of Harmony.

The state derives its name from the Nupe word for River Niger, which tributaries flows through Jebba, Edu and Pategi. The Kwara State Capital is at Ilorin and it has a total of 16 Local Government Councils

.ABDULRAZAQ AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF KWARA STATE
There exist no doubts that the history of Kwara State cannot be complete without mentioning the name of Late Alh. AbdulRazaq, SAN, OFR as he was among those who fought for the creation of Kwara State, in 1967 there would not have been Kwara State, not to talk of development.

Contributing to this issue was Leke Salaudeen in the Nation stated thus;

“After July 29, 1966 Coup, the then military Governor of Northern Region, Major General Hassan Usman Katsina convened a meeting of leaders of thoughts in Kaduna. Late AbdulRazaq and Late Chief Joshua Olawoyin were invited to represent the then Ilorin Province at the meeting.

It was at one of the sessions of the meeting that Olawoyin moved a motion that both Ilorin and Kabba Provinces be merged for the creation of what is known as Kwara State today. As expected the motion was supported by AbdulRazaq.”

From what we have seen above, this legend with his conscience was instrumental to the creation of Kwara State.

  1. ABDULRAZAQ CONTRIBUTIONS TO EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF KWARA STATE

In the words of Buckminster Fuller ‘You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

Probably Late Alhaji A.G.F AbdulRazaq, SAN, OFR, was propelled by this saying when he single-handedly built “Ilorin College, Ilorin” popularly known as “I.C.I” now called “Government High School” situate at Adewole Area of Ilorin in Kwara State. The school served as a new model in the advancement of secondary education, marking a sharp departure from the hitherto ways secondary education was being run.

A lot of people can attest to the fact that this school was not built to make profit but to train young Girls and Boys from various parts of Kwara State. How many of our Rich-men in Kwara State are building or have built schools not to make profits? How many have built at all? How many have contributed to educational development of Kwara State? These questions are almost a matter of conscience and it is left for our conscience to judge us.

  1. ABDULRAZAQ AND THE CHOICE OF GEO-POLITICAL ZONE
    There are some critics who have stated that the choice of geo-political zone taken by this legend was wrong. That is also a matter of their conscience whether or not the critics were right. However; can we rightly say that development did not get to Kwara State as a result of belonging to North Central geo-political zone? Certainly, the answer is that, Kwara State enjoyed tremendous development.
  2. ABDULRAZAQ AND ADVANCEMENT OF JUSTICE

To further in the interest of justice, late A.G.F Abdulrasaq embarked on offering pro bono legal services, To those who are not lawyers here, a Pro-bono is a short word for the Latin phrase “pro bono publico” which means “for the public good” Pro-bono work involves providing free services that are rendered by a professional for free or at a lower cost. Professionals in many fields offer Pro-bono services. The term pro-bono is used primarily in the legal profession. It is now a condition to have pro-bono matters now before being appointed as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria for legal-practitioners who are in the field of law practice.

The late AbdulRazaq, SAN, OFR handled a lot of pro-bono matters for the Late political icon Olushola Saraki, the Kwara State itself, so many indigenes of Kwara State. This is also a matter of conscience as to how many lawyers are doing this today, how many persons have used pro-bono cases to develop their states, political career of others and economic revival of persons.

Surely he was a good man. It was – Albert Pike. Who said “A good man will find that there is goodness in the world; an honest man will find that there is honesty in the world and a man of principle will find principle and integrity in the hearts of others”. The late Icon found principle and integrity in the hearts of those whom he touched by his benevolence and philanthropy.

  1. ABDULRAZAQ AND POLITICS
    Politically, AbdulRazaq represented us well at the national level and especially being a Kwaran. He started politics earlier, even before Nigeria gain Independence, when most Kwara politicians had not started politics. He was the most sorts after politician in Kwara State in the 50s and 60s. He was appointed as National Legal Adviser of the Northern People’s Congress NPC. He blazed the trail in Nigerian politics. He was one of those young and educated Nigerians who joined the Elderly Nationalist to the 1957 London Constitutional Conference in order to secure Independence for Nigeria which independence became a reality in 1960. This is a worthy contribution to Nigeria even before the establishment of Kwara State. This is also a matter of conscience. Some persons such as Late A.G.F AbdulRazaq secured independence for Nigerians and some are out to destroy the same “Nigeria” because of selfish interest, this is also a matter of conscience.

In the Post-Independence, Nigeria, he served as a special member of the Northern house of Assembly, between 1960 and 1962. He was an Ambassador to Cote-d’ Ivoire between 1962 – 1964. This was where he met the Grand-father of the former Governor of Kwara State, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki. I mean the Grand-father, not even the father. The relationship was cordial but this topic is not meant to dwell too much on the relationship till today among even the family members, it is still a matter of conscience.

He equally served as Minister of State for Transport under the Late Abubakar Tafawa Balewa regime between 1964 and 1966 when the coup occurred in Nigeria. We did not hear from anyone nor any record that he was indicted for any financial recklessness, or high-handedness. This is a question of conscious and his words are always; “ours shall last be served”. He didn’t live an extravagant life, yet he was not in penury as he worked so hard to be financially stable.

Valentine Rasputin in farewell to Matyora wrote ‘In the olden days conscience was very important. If someone tried living without one, it was obvious right away everyone lived an open life then. There were all kinds of people then too. Some would have been happy to follow their conscience but what do you do if you’re born without one? You can’t buy it with money’ Ladies and gentle men, it takes a man of unimaginable conscience to have achieved what the late icon achieved in life, and still lived a modest life. The advice is to the younger generation of ours, to emulate the sterling qualities and simplicity of the late icon. Having at the back of our minds that irrespective of what your acquired, death is inevitable.

  1. ABDULRASAQ AND THE LEGAL PROFESSION
    A.G.F AbdulRazaq SAN, was the first practicing Lawyer from the North, his number as can be found on the role of Senior Advocate of Nigeria is 46 and he was conferred with the highest rank in the Legal Profession as a senior advocate on 31st day of July, 1985. He was therefore also the first SAN in Kwara State.

He was brilliant, hardworking, neat and articulate. So many Judges and Lawyers have worked in his office and he was loved and still being loved in the Legal Profession even after his death. He practiced the Legal Profession in Kaduna and Zaria until he moved the head office to Lagos. He was a Legal Giant. Whether or not we as Legal Practitioners especially in Kwara State are emulating this gentleman or not is a matter of our conscience.

As a legal practitioner, he conducted landmarks cases which principles of law emanating from those decisions are still being referred to. He was the Respondent Counsel in UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS VS AIGORO (1985) 1 NWLR (Pt1) PG143. He appeared with Chief Rotimi Williams in SARAKI VS KOTOYE (1990) 4 NWLR (PT 143) Pg 144 and also in KOTOYE VS CBN (1989) 1NWLR (Pt98) pg 419 all involving Societe Generale Bank, a bank where late Dr Olushola Saraki had substantial interest. He was also involved in AMOKOMOWO VS ANDU (1985) 1 NWLR (Pt3) Pg 530 a case involving the Chief Imam of Ikorodu.

In the words of Mahatma Gandhi “There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts” Being aware that one’s conscience stands at a very high pedestal in life, Late A.G.F Abdulrasaq followed his conscience and stood for what was right though heaven fall.

  1. ABDULRASAQ AND SERVICE TO KWARA STATE
    He was the Commissioner for Finance, Commissioner for Health and also Commissioner for Social Welfare. This appointment spanned the periods between 1967 to 1972 in Kwara State.
  2. ABDULRASAQ AS A BUSINESSMAN AND ENCOURAGING ENTREPRENEURSHIP OF KWARANS AND KWARA STATE
    The Late A.G.F AbdulRazaq, SAN, OFR, the Mutawali of Ilorin and Tafida of Zazzau (Zaria) was the president of the Nigerian Stock Exchange from 2000-2003 and was vice-president of the same body from 1983-2000.

With this position, he was able to help most Kwarans who were interested in investing in most companies he attracted a lot of companies to the state through his influence from where the state generated taxes and got opportunity of employment for the unemployed youths. This is still a matter of conscience whether we appreciate his contribution or not in this area of development. No wonder the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Kwara State Chapter, named their entrepreneurship Centre after him which is called “AGF AbdulRazaq Entrepreneurship Hub”.

Entrepreneurship itself can be described as a relative concept as there exist no conscientious definition, however, it means the introduction of new economic activities which will give rise to a change in the market place or marketing environment. It was the development of entrepreneurship the late A.G.F AbdulRazaq, SAN, OFR, utilized as the basis of showing the relevance of entrepreneurship to law, good governance, democracy, reduction in social vices, illegality and insecurity.

  1. DEVEPOLMENT OF KWARA STATE AFTER THE DEATH OF A.G.F ABDULRASAQ

RAIMOND GAITA had this to say; “I know what a good man is because I saw it in my father” This is apt when one considers that the Governor of the state is one of the sons of the late icon. Having known hi father to be a good man, he had no difficulties in continuing with the good works of his father. It can be safely said that the late icon imbibed in his children what GIEN CAMPBELL wrote that” there is no pillow as soft as a clear conscience” With this at the back of his mind, on assuming the mantle of leadership as the Governor of Rivers State, His EXCELLENCY has the following achievements to his credit
i. prompt payment of salaries which were not there before now and before the present regime came to power, there was abject poverty among the citizens if we can say the truth with our conscience.
ii. Prompt payment of pension and pension arrears and in comparism to what was obtainable before now, there had been significant improvement.
iii. The NYSC camp at Yikpata was rebuilt which transformed the “camp” from “forest” to a befitting structure where human-being can live.
iv. there are lots of development in the education section, with the rebuilding and retransformation of most schools giving same befitting structures, modern equipments and good teachers were recruited thereby also reducing the level of unemployment.
v. road Construction works especially areas not touched for years by the past administration in Kwara State.
vi. Health facilities improvement
vii. Project in Ministry of Youth and Sports Development
viii. Improvement of State security and maintenance of peace
ix. The recruitment exercise of the present administration avoided favouration and illegality.

It must be understood that this development cut across all the Local Government Areas of Kwara State despite;
Lean financial resources of the state.
Covid 19 Pandemic
Economic meltdown of the entire nation which past administrations did not encounter as such.
Payment of salaries and pension areas.

The Late A.G.F AbdulRazaq, SAN, OFR, was married to Alhaja Raliat AbdulRazaq and their children are still contributing to the development of Kwara State;
Dr. Alimi AbdulRazaq, a Lawyer, a Ph.D degree holder in Law, a Politician of high repute, Administrator and Philanthropist among other areas of endeavour.
Hajia Hairat AbdulRazaq Gwadabe who was a former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Alhaji Isiaka AbdulRazaq, who was the Executive Director, Finance & Administration, NNPC. He assisted most people of Kwara State to be employed regardless of their Local Government Area.
Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, who is the current Executive Governor of Kwara State.
Hajia Aisha Mohammed Lawal (Nee AbdulRazaq) who was the wife of the former Governor of Kwara State.
Alhaji AbdulRauf AbdulRazaq an Abuja based businessman.

Finally let us all examine our consciences whether or not we are contributing to the development of the state the way the ABDULRASAQ family has devoted their time, resources and energy to the development of the state. A conscience without God is like a court without judge. Conscience is the mirror of our souls which represents the errors of our life in their full shape. Conscience is the perfect interpreter of life. Conscience is harder than other enemies knows more, accuses with more nicety. Conscience can be silenced through an incessant disobedience. Conscience is more than the dead speaking to us. A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel good. Conscience is an exact recorder that writes every man’s history, an inward witness that will sooner or later speak the whole truth: an impartial Judge, whose sentence will acquit or condemn. ‘

It is not in doubt that the Abdulrasaq family has their watchword, the saying of Ellen G. White, when he said “The greatest want of the world is the want of men; men who will not be bought or sold men who in their inner most souls are true and honest. Men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heaven fall’”

The family both collectively and individually has done one thing or the other for the development of the state. We all owe them a debt of gratitude. But far from that we owe a greater gratitude to the late icon who as the he3ad of the family laid down the foundation on which other members of the family can now build. Let us all in the very corner we find ourselves consider what we can do to develop our state. The Abdulrasaq family contribution to the development of the state should only serve as a catalyst to spur us into contributing our own quota believing and trusting in God that our modest individual efforts here and there will eventually turn to an ocean of development

SUMMARY
We have been able to show who the Late A.G.F AbdulRazaq, SAN, OFR was and his background showing that he is an Ilorin man by tribe and by language but a Kwaran to the core above all.

We have been able to define the terms which are unique to this topic which are; Development, Kwara State and the word “Conscience”.

We highlighted and examined the various contributions of this great legend, to the development of not only Ilorin his home town but the entire Kwara State as a whole using “Conscience” as the basis/yardstick in assessing the said contributions.

We were able to draw comparisms between the Conscience of this great man and the conscience of some Kwarans, who inside them, with their conscience even if everyone is praising them, they know or will know that they contributed to destroying Kwara State than developing the state. It was Raimond Gaite that said ‘I know what a good man is because I saw it is my father’

We were able to bring out the contributions of this great man to the development of Kwara State in order to ignite the conscience of the leaders of Kwara State in various positions to contribute to the development of Kwara State as posterity will judge us all because we shall one day become subject matter of history just like this great legend whether positively or negatively.

CONCLUSION
Late A.G.F AbdulRazaq contributions to the development of Kwara State are enormous and whether we would add to this development positively or not is a matter of our conscience but as it has been said severally, conscience is an open wound which is always nurtured with the truth.

Even, all I have said “is a matter of my conscience” while all you have heard and read through me is “a matter of your conscience”.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
A. PAPER PRESENTATIONS/MAGAZINES

  1. Prof. A. Amuda-Kannike, SAN; AGF AbdulRazaq, SAN, OFR and his living legacies: Lessons for the future generation; A paper presented at NANS event.
  2. Prof. A. Amuda-Kannike, SAN; Hoe Relevant is Entrepreneurship to Law, Good Governance, Democracy, Reduction in Social Vices, Illegality and Insecurity; A paper presented at Covenant University, Ota on 3/8/2019.
  3. Prof. A. Amuda-Kannike, SAN; The Effect of Leadership and Entrepreneurship on Law, Security and National Unity; A paper presented at the 3rd Leadership Summit at University of Port-Harcourt on 5/10/2019.
  4. The magazine by NANS, Kwara State: “The Uncommon Liberator; Pages 5-11 Popularly called” THE ACME MAGAZINE 4TH EDITION.

B. INTERNET MATERIALS

  1. See; https://sid-israel.org; What is development; Accessed through the internet on 30/6/2021 at 2am.
  2. See https://www.ogdev.org; What is development; Accessed through the internet on 30/6/2021 at 3am.
  3. See https://www.scieto.br; Development; Accessed on the net on the 30/6/2021 at 4am
  4. See https://www.goodwillcs.org; Accessed through the internet on 1/7/2021at 2am
  5. See https://www.yourdictionary.com; Conscience; Accessed through the internet on 1/7/2021 at 5am
  6. Statement by Late Spiritual Leader of the 19th Century, Usman Dan Fodio: See https://specialities.bayt.com; Accessed through the internet on 2/7/2021 at 1am
  7. See www.cometonigeria.com; Kwara State; Accessed on the internet on 30/6/2021 at 4am
  8. See https://oldnajia.com; Five Tribes; Accessed through the internet on 1/7/2021 at 1am
  9. See https://thenationonlineng.net: AGF AbdulRazaq Glorious Ext… Accessed through the internet on 2/7/2021 at 3pm
  10. See https://www.investopedia.com; pro-bono; Accessed through the internet on 3/7/2021 at 12:41am
  11. See https://thenationonlineng.net; Accessed through on 3/7/2021 through the internet at 3:15am
  12. See www.thisdaylive.com; AGF AbdulRazaq; Accessed through the internet on 3/7/2021 at 12:57pm.
  13. See: www.thisdaylive.com; Accessed through the internet on3/7/2021 at 1:40pm
  14. See: https://nanskwara.org.ng; Accessed through the internet on3/7/2021 at 2pm
  15. See https://www.wisesayings.com; Accessed through the internet on 4/7/2021 at 12:16am

Published By: EDITOR

CARL UMEGBORO is a prolific writer, public affairs analyst and an Associate, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (United Kingdom). He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB Hons) and a renowned columnist in all national newspapers in Nigeria, Africa Press Reviews, TheWorldNEWS and numerous foreign media including Park Chester Times, New York, USA. Umegboro is a regular guest-analyst to many TV and radio programme on crucial national issues. To send your opinions, articles and reports to the Admin, contact: +234 (0) 802 318 4542, +234 (0) 705 710 1974, +234 (0) 817 318 4542. Email: carl@carlumegboro.com, umegborocarl@gmail.com

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