A member of Nigeria’s Air Force who returned 37,000 euros ($41,500) found in a parcel has received a double promotion as a reward for his honesty.
Bashir Umar, who is a member of the Mobile Air Defence Team of the Air Force, was on patrol duties with his colleagues at an airport in the northern state of Kano when he found the cash.
He discovered that the parcel had a telephone number on it, thus, he reached the owner and returned the cash to him.
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For his rare show of honesty and integrity, the Nigerian Air Force has promoted Umar from aircraftman to the rank of corporal, a promotion that would have taken him 10 years to achieve, according to the News Agency of Nigeria. He was also given a letter of commendation.
Speaking at Thursday’s ceremony to honour him, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar said Umar “displayed an uncommon act of integrity by returning the money to the owner”.
Umar, who was grateful to the Air Force for honouring him, said returning the money was part of the discipline he received from home and in service.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari had, earlier this week, urged Nigerians, especially young people, to “emulate such worthy gesture.”
“Honesty and integrity will always remain admirable virtues, notwithstanding challenges before any country,” the president said in a statement.
This is not the first time a worker has returned lost items at Nigeria’s airports. Last May, a cleaner at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos State, Charity Bassey, found a nylon containing $6,000 and handed it over to security officials at the terminal. Her employers announced that her salary would be increased for her honesty.
That same year, airport officials in Lagos honoured two security guards who returned a passenger’s missing bag full of dollars and jewellery.
Earlier in 2015, members of the Lagos State House of Assembly honoured Josephine Ugwu, a female cleaner who returned a huge sum of money she found while cleaning a toilet at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, in January.