Achi Daniel, a junior security guard employed with Halogen Securities Limited and posted at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos has been the subject of discussion in Nigeria as people called him “stupid” while others hailed him for returning a lost bag filled with money and jewelry.
His story made headlines after the president Muhammadu Buhari commended him and the other airport guards for their honesty to return the bag that belonged to a traveller from the United States who was not named.
According to Sahara Reporters, Dr. Banji Oyegbami, a medical practitioner and friend of the person whose bag was found went to the airport to pick his friend up who had flown into Nigeria for a burial. After waiting for hours, the party finally left the airport car park and commenced driving to their final destination.
The unnamed friend of Oyegbami then received a call from his daughter in the United States who had been contacted about the missing bag found at the airport.
Daniel, the security guard, recounted the events to reporters present at an event to honor him. “Inside the bag, I saw a mobile phone, jewelry and a huge amount of dollars, as well as several other documents. At that point, we went straight to the manager’s office, who then put a call through to somebody in Atlanta, Georgia, who happened to be the daughter of the owner of the bag.”
“When they returned, they were jittery that some of the items in the bag may have vanished, but after crosschecking it, she discovered that everything was intact. The family attempted to give us some money as a form of appreciation, which we rejected, as we told them we were doing our job.”
Despite being a good Samaritan, Daniel says he was mocked by his friends. He communicated that his strong Christian values guided his decision.
“No amount of money would make me take what doesn’t belong to me. I believe my own time will come and at the right time,” he was quoted by Sahara Reporters.
Daniel encouraged others to follow in his footsteps.
Subsequently, Daniel and another guard were rewarded with educational scholarships and the sum of N250,000 or $690.80.
Daniel also revealed to the reporters that this was not his first time returning goods to their rightful owners. “It never crossed my mind to steal the money and I wouldn’t have done that because it wasn’t my first time of finding such and returning to the owners,” he iterated.
Engineer Saleh Dunoma, the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), emphasized, “Some others may look at you and tag you stupid; I want to assure you that by virtue of this act, you have secured seats for yourselves in the comity of those with credibility and integrity. I hereby want to advise other staff to emulate this great virtue and become role models just like these two.”