By Azemobor Gregory.
In a season where the quality of honesty is almost going extinct, especially in Africa, yet ,some rare breed of Ghanaian immigration officers have shown that there is still some modicum of hope in restoring the virtue, when they returned a lost IPAD to a Nigerian Passenger, even after many days of its disappearance.
The elated owner of the IPAD, Otunba Lsk, the CEO of Betcolony Africa, could not hide his joy and appreciation to these honest Ghanaian, as he shared this on his Facebook wall “With these officers of the Ghana Immigration Service, I still believe there is hope for Africa. My IPAD disappeared in the last few days of 2015 at Kotoka Airport Accra and reappeared few days into 2016 courtesy these wonderful African stars! Surprisingly they refused monetary compensation. I don’t know how to thank you enough officers Victor and Genevieve… May God bless you this 2016 and beyond. May He make you happy forever the way you have made me happy today..”
This moral feat displayed by these Ghanaian immigration officers is worthy of emulation by all and sundry. Recently, within the Christmas period of the outgoing year 2015, a friend of my lost a phone in a bus he boarded from Ikeja to CMS. When he noticed he had misplaced his phone, he immediately called the phone number, somebody from the other end answered. He told the person the phone belonged to him, and that he would even pay the person if he could just return the phone. While their conversation was going on, the phone went “dead”. The person at the other end had switched off the phone. According to my friend, the phone had two SIM, and they were his business lines. My friend had to pass through a traumatic ordeal in hands of the GSM service providers, before he could restore his lines back. This took a period of 2 weeks, within which he could not transact business, because his client could not reach him, no thanks to a heartless individual, who because of N5,000 ( the second value of the Tecno phone) decided to unleash wickedness on his fellow human being
I am sure that many of us reading this piece have one or two ugly experiences to share of how they lost their phones (especially), and other valuable properties, to dishonest people, who found them but refused to return them, because the virus of greed and covetousness that had poisoned their souls. How long do we continue to thrive in a culture of dishonesty? Yes! Dishonesty has become a culture- a way of life for Nigerians nay Africans. In the time past, it was not so. Honesty and integrity used to be an integral part of our traditional culture. I think we need to bring back those glorious days, when people were mindful of their reputation, and honesty was a cherished value in our societies.
One of the ways to champion a renascence of our rich cultural values such as honesty is to begin to celebrate people who display unusual honest behavior in a society that is fast cascading into immoral abyss. Early last year, 2015, our organization- Voice of Change Network Int’l , set the pace for this renascence, by publicly appreciating and rewarding an honest cleaner, Josephine Ogwu, who found and returned about N12 million belonging to a passenger, in Lagos Int’l airport. The news of this story is all over the internet. Taking a cue from what we did, many churches, companies, media organizations and even Nigeria’s National Orientation Agency scrambled to appreciate and reward her for her honesty.
Josephine Ugwu has since become a celebrity. If people with high moral values are celebrated in our society, they would become role models that others would emulate. In conclusion, I enjoin the media and the society to stop promoting and celebrating vain people. True heroes and celebrities should be people of impeccable moral qualities.
Azemobor Gregory, is the International Coodinator of Voice of Change Networt Int’l, follow him on twitter @gazemobr.