Sunday-Francis Adedokun broke into tears in the studio upon hearing Abiodun’s offer of a piece of land as a gift for his honesty. ” I am grateful,” he said.
Other callers applauded the display of honesty by Adedokun for returning $4,050 (US Dollars), which amounts to over N1.6 million belonging to a passenger.
The incident leading to the bolt driver returning the money forgotten by his passenger occurred on June 10, 2022, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Adedokun’s display of integrity was celebrated during an anti-corruption radio program, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE, produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, Wednesday in Abuja.
“Try and stop the tears,” the lead anchor of the anti-corruption radio program, Adaobi Obiabunmuo, counselled Adedokun before shifting questions to other guests in the studio.
Abiodun, the caller who offered the gift of land, had asked the cab driver if he lived in his own house or was a tenant. “I don’t own the place. I am a tenant”, he said.
“I will give you a plot of land in Lugbe to build your house,” Abiodun said, turning the studio into some emotions.
Two other Nigerians were also celebrated for their honesty and bravery.
Police Constable Nura Mande found and returned the missing $800 to its owner in Katsina State, and a petrol tanker driver, Ejiro Otarigho, who risked his own life to save lives and property in Agbarho, Ughelli North, Delta State, was also celebrated for his bravery.
Nigerians who called into the radio programme showered praises on the bolt driver and others for their act of integrity.
Oscar, who called in from Area 11, AMAC, Abuja, said, ” I appreciate Adedokun and the other man in Delta state. We should try to learn from what they have done so that we can copy from them and be good ambassadors of the country.”
Toba from Airport road, Abuja, said: “it is only two things Nigerians need for them to begin to deliver integrity – reward and protection.”
A caller who goes by Amaechi Madubuike from Airport Road Abuja said, “I want to thank our brother and the tanker driver. I drove someone to a location, and she left N350,000 in my car. I had to drive back to where I dropped her and stayed there for more than six hours waiting. Eventually, the man came back, and he rewarded me with N20,000. I’m telling this story for the sake of others. People don’t return things because they don’t get appreciated.”
In his reaction, the Communications Lead at Accountability Lab Nigeria, Prince Chimaraoke Chukwuka, commended the bolt driver, policeman and tanker driver for their honesty and selflessness.
Chukwuka described the tanker Ejiro, whose wife was pregnant when he risked his life to drive away his burning truck from a busy area, as true patriotism.
He called on the Nigerian media to give more credence to stories of the display of integrity by Nigerians.
“it was a life and death situation for him (tanker driver), and he didn’t think of the pregnant wife, how they would survive if he didn’t make it. For me, I applaud the selfless effort that he has demonstrated, and this also proves that Nigerians are selfless people. We may not see it many times in the news because maybe some of these selfless acts don’t get to the media too quickly or just enough.”
He called for citizens to become more active by participating in the next general elections and making the sort of change they desired in society.
“Indeed, the society we are in is not the one we desire to have, and for it to change, citizens must begin to rise to the occasion. Do you have your PVC? If you don’t have it, get it. It’s high time we started voting for responsible leaders, who will show young people the way, who will lead by example, and help us build a more accountable society,” Chukwuka stressed.
Sunday-Francis Adedokun revealed that it was not his first time returning forgotten items to his passengers. He said the lifestyle was part of his upbringing and called on other bolt drivers and Nigerians, in general, to always act honestly, without expecting reward and not minding criticisms from people.
Ejiro Otarigho (tanker driver), when asked about his motivation for taking the maximum risk to drive away his burning tanker out of a busy area, had this to say: “the only motivation that was on my mind was that I never wanted to be the victim of anything that will kill people.
“at that moment, if it happens and the tanker remains there, more persons will die, and properties will be destroyed. What came to my mind was to take the truck out of that busy area and go to a safe place close to the river. To be sincere, I never want to kill any single life, so I asked my motor boy to come down from the truck, and I was alone in the truck,” He narrated.
Otarigho, however, urged Nigerians always to take decisions that favour the generality of the people rather than just themselves.
Public Conscience is a syndicated weekly anti-corruption radio program used by PRIMORG to draw government and citizens’ attention to corruption and integrity issues in Nigeria.
The program has the support of the MacArthur Foundation.