Ilorin: Before our tears dry up for late Abdulrasaq

Ilorin, the citadel of Islamic tenets and abode of great ulamas, is enveloped in mourning. This is due to the death on Saturday, July 25, 2020, of one of its finest and best human assets, Abdulgabiyu Folorunsho Abdulrasaq. What a loss of a colossus Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) of Ilorin extraction who was the first northern lawyer called to the bar in 1955. Yes, it is natural for humans to grieve the passage of a loved one and a great community leader and builder of international repute who died at the ripe age of 93. Ngugi Wa Thiongo in his novel, Weep not Child, writes, “weep not my people” over the inevitability of death. In the words of Allah every soul, young or old, rich or poor, male or female, affluent or poor must taste death at the appointed time. Quran: Innalillai wa ina ilahi rajiuna (from God we came and to God we shall return).

The fact remains that our beloved father, AGF, had answered the last call. This reality ignited a torrential flow of tears from my eyeballs and a deluge of critical questions. I consoled myself with the fact that he left his indelible footprints on the sands of time in the annals of Ilorin, Kwara state, Nigeria and the world at large. Beyond crying for the departed father of our amiable Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, I engaged in retrospection on the vacuum created by his death which will be difficult to fill. I recalled with pride that the highly reverred Mattawalin of Ilorin was passionate about entrenching the culture of learning and teaching. This led to the establishment of the first post primary Ilorin Community Secondary School, now known as Government High School Ilorin. This laudable feat of the late septogenarian made me to reflect on the dying culture of self-help  community development educational project pioneered by him at that time.

His death is lessonto reflect on the extent to which we as a people are sustaining such self help empowerment of our people in  education, job creation and infrastructure development. Today, in our cherished community there is reversal of priority among the youth with over-reliance on government to spoon feed us. Some private schools are taking undue advantage of the situation with outrageous fees are daily denying our children access to education. The late patriarch of Abdul-razaqs was a mentee not only in learning and character but also in giving back to his people in many ways too numerous to itemise. To his credit, generations of professional lawyers who modelled their careers after him sprang up not only in his hometown  of Ilorin but across  Nigeria. He was an enigmatic leader who replicated and re-invented himself in many people. 

AGF died a fulfilled and happy man.  This is to the glory of God after a successful tour of duty and service  to humanity and to his Creator. In many ways the deceased laboured to bequeath just and equitable  society. He abhorred injustice. Fortunately, his son is the governor of Kwara state and has no choice  drawing inspiration from his late father’s philosophy. It will be a great honour for the late AGF to see all Kwarans to be on the same page with the governor to justify the re-birth agenda of our state. The late father of Dr Alimi, Senator Hairat Gwadabe Isiaka, Hajiia Aishat  Lawal and Baba, among others, bequeathed the most beautiful  gift of human capital to human race    by the intimidating pedigree of the  children he left behind. 

While consolidating on the legacies of their father they should remain unitedly prayerful in ensuring a successful tenure of one of them whose tenure by providence  symbolically coincided with the death of your patriarch. He couldn’t  have asked for more as a farewell gift from God as a proud father whose long dream was actualised before his departure. Let me say painfully though, a very emotional  good night to our great father.We are pleased that history will remember you as a well celebrated personality in life and death just as we hope and pray that you will be better celebrated in the hereafter as the occupant of the finest abode in jannat firdaus.

Abdulkadri is pecial  assistant, media and publicity to minister of defence.

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