Last weekend Hajiya Raliat AbdulRazaq, wife of the Mutawali of Ilorin, Alhaji AGF AbdulRazaq, the first lawyer in Northern Nigeria, celebrated her 80th birthday anniversary. Fondly called “Maama”, Hajiya was a genuine mother for many people from Ilorin, especially those of my generation. We all grew up knowing her as the grand auntie who was ever present in community events in Ilorin; and in turn, the Ilorin community showered her with trust and genuine affection for years.
Apart from the success they made of their lives as a couple and in politics, business and law, “Maama” and her husband are a superb example of successful parenting, giving birth to children who have made a positive mark on Nigerian life. If I have any regrets about the birthday celebration, it is that just like the earlier one for their father, they chose to celebrate in Lagos. Why did they refuse to go back home to Ilorin to celebrate amongst people who genuinely love their wonderful mother? Happy 80th Birthday “Maama”!