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This man found N95 m cash and returned it to owner

Posted by From BEN OKEZIE in Abuja on 2006/03/13 | Views: 513 |

This man found N95 m cash and returned it to owner


Once in every little while, something pops up to remind us that we haven’t lost it all. They are exemplary shows of integrity that require a rise above the surrounding muck. But they are also acts of men: a handful of men, really. These men are the glowing embers of our depleting humanity.

•Says ‘I will do it again’

Once in every little while, something pops up to remind us that we haven’t lost it all. They are exemplary shows of integrity that require a rise above the surrounding muck. But they are also acts of men: a handful of men, really. These men are the glowing embers of our depleting humanity.

You may never see them when our leaders gather to pontificate on anti-corruption. They hardly walk life’s high roads but even in their narrow pathways they make large statements that grate on the conscience of the nation.

Mr. Samuel Tarzea, a housekeeper in Abuja, has just joined this short list.

An employee of Perniel Apartments, an exclusive hotel situated on Adetokunbo Ademola Avenue in Wuse District of Abuja, Samuel, a Tiv from Benue State, made a sudden detour to greatness precisely on December 12, 2005 by returning a staggering N95 million ($700, 000 USD) to a visiting Ivorian General (name withheld) who had inadvertently handed the sum away in circumstances that could only be described as utterly careless.

Ironically, it happened at a time when young Nigerians, his age, are most inclined to crime – Christmas period. But it was also a day that began like any other in his routine life as a housekeeper.
The well-heeled guest had beckoned on him, as they often did, and handed him a jacket to launder for him.

“When he gave me the jacket”, Samuel, a newly wed church leader at Abuja-based Family Worship Center, recalled, “he went out. And when I was about to take the jacket to the laundry, I noticed that there was a bulge in the inner pocket. On dipping my hand into it, I discovered a wad of dollars. I also checked the second pocket and saw some pound sterling and Euro. I counted them and after the conversion they totaled up to $700, 000 USD”.

Temptation
As would be expected, Samuel was benumbed by his discovery. It set him thinking, wondering what would be the most sensible thing to do. First he wanted to tell one of his supervisors, but he had a sudden change of heart “because I didn’t want to hear a different story the next day. So I kept the money and waited for the man to come back but he did not come back that day.”

Meeting denied
Good as Samuel’s decision not to let anyone into his little secret was, it placed a huge burden on his young shoulders. For one who may not have seen one million naira all his life, Samuel’s consternation on having a whooping N95 million in his care all of a sudden can only be imagined.

Said he: “When I waited for him to come back and he didn’t, I was angry. Not because he did not come back but because his not showing up deprived me of attending my leadership meeting at the church. ”
But if he was surprised that the august guest did not return to the hotel that day, a bigger surprise lay ahead when he arrived office the next day to realize that there was not even any report of a missing item from any of the hotel’s well-appointed guests. He knew it was time to act. He didn’t want any eventualities to overtake what he had made up his mind to do.

‘Nigerian gift’
Buoyed by his sense of right, Samuel headed straight to the guest’s room with the money. But a bigger surprise awaited him there. “When I handed the money over to him, he asked me if it was a gift, and I said it was the money he forgot inside his jacket pocket. Surprise sprang on his face. He did not even ask me how much it was. He just dipped a hand into his bag and brought out some Naira notes and handed over to me without counting them”, Samuel told Sunday Sun.

He left the guest a happy and thoroughly fulfilled man but before he could get back to his duty post, word had spread to the entire staff about his deed. The hotel management promptly invited him and handed him a commendation letter, extolling him for his honesty.
“You have portrayed a very good image of the company”, the letter, a copy of which was made available to Sunday Sun, read in parts.

Confirming the story, Perniel Human Resources Manager, Mr. T. S. Adekunle, said “When the report came to the management that the guest involved was an army general from Ivory Coast, we were very happy because Samuel has exhibited a high moral standard as a trained personnel. Management resolved to give him a commendation letter with a reward of a 21-inch Sharp colour television.”
“I did it for God”

Sunday Sun wanted to know how Samuel felt about his sudden fame.
“I am very happy, because at the end of it all, God is glorified. I did it for God and not man, but I am thankful that I have been rewarded for it. I don’t regret doing it and if the opportunity comes my way again, I will do it without looking back”, Samuel vowed.

He also has a word for his colleagues in the hospitality industry: “My colleagues should not be tempted but should try to do good always, because it is not man they are doing it for but God and at the appointed time God who sees in secret will reward them in the open.”

Fresh-faced Nuhu Ribadu, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission helmsman, must meet this man.
Samuel may well be the poster boy of the crusade for moral integrity.


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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.