Turbaning Ceremony Of Dr. Alimi Abdulrasaq As Mutawali Of Ilorin In Kwara State On 18/03/2022

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It gives me such great joy to join you all in the celebration of my dear brother and friend, Dr. Muhammed Alimi AbdulRazaq, as he receives the title of Mutawali of Ilorin, in this special turbaning ceremony.


This is an illustrious title indeed, made all the more so by the pre-eminent standing of this great Emirate, the ancient ‘sharpening stone’ that has for centuries played host to an intersection of tribes and religions, a political and economic powerhouse whose towering stature still commands respect on both sides of the Niger.


In many ways, Ilorin is a symbol of the strength and beauty that comes from a synergy of cultures. And as such the title of Mutawali is not only a great honour but also a great trust – one, which after wise and careful consideration, has fallen on Dr. Muhammed Alimi AbdulRazaq.


Perhaps one of the great tragedies of history and time is the inability of people sometimes who have been chosen for great offices to rise to the stature of the office. The repercussions are often sharp and enduring, diminishing the man and the office along with him. But there are momentous occasions where hope and history rhyme and a man is chosen who gracefully ascends to the height of the responsibility that has been thrust upon him.


Today and now, we are in one such moment, as clearly evidenced by the pedigree and accomplishments of Dr. Muhammed Alimi AbdulRazaq, whom I have had the privilege of knowing up close. We were classmates at the law school and have been friends now for over 40 years.


His track record of excellence and service in the legal, business and public spheres, are widely known. His accomplishments in education with the establishment of Bridge House College with his dear wife, his law firm – House of Laws, his participation on the board of FBN Holdings and so many other accomplishments


It is also a testament to the qualities of Dr. Alimi AbdulRazaq, but it follows in the succession to the example of his great father, Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho AbdulRazaq SAN, the first Mutawali of Ilorin, the first lawyer in Northern Nigeria and the first Senior Advocate of Nigeria here in Kwara State. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as they say.


We can all attest to the fact that the new Mutawali of Ilorin brings many qualities to the title; a first-class mind who has navigated the legal profession, and the complex worlds of business and politics at the highest levels possible, strictly on the merit of his own capacity and the weight of his contributions.


But what stands him out indispensably, particularly for this role, is his compassion, his firm belief in the upholding of human dignity at all levels.


Some may not know that his PhD. thesis on Human Rights Protection in Africa set the framework for the establishment of the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights, which was subsequently commissioned by the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which is now African Union (AU). Years later, in the same spirit, he founded the Nigerian Council for Human Rights, serving as its Executive Secretary for ten years.


The extent of Dr. AbdulRazaq’s philanthropy is a matter of public record. His investments in education, and in ensuring that as many people as possible, within his sphere of influence, get quality education, and a good shot at a better life, have earned him well-deserving laurels and awards, home and abroad. The title of Mutawali of Ilorin, no doubt, finds a natural home in this great believer in humanity and supporter of many.


And we pray that God will grant you the wisdom and capacity to bear this responsibility with the same commitment,  grace, compassion, selflessness, with which you have borne your illustrious career and extensive accomplishments. Congratulations!


I also want to thank our dear father, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Kolapo Sulu Gambari, some of us are partial to him because he shares the same profession with some of us who are here. I see the Senior Advocates who are seated here fully in support of our Emir. Those of us who are not from Ilorin feel a part of Ilorin because of our dear father, because of his competence and accomplishments as a legal practitioner and as a Court of Appeal Judge. He is a man known for integrity and commitment.


I want to commend the Emir for all he has been doing through the years, the great service he has been doing not just to this State and Kingdom, but to our entire nation. Thank you very much, Sir. God bless you.


Lastly, I bring you the warm felicitations of His Excellency, the President of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, who congratulates you and this great Kingdom today on the second installation of the Mutawali of Ilorin.


God bless you all, thank you.