Driving down to work this morning, i was listening to front page news on my favorite radio station, Classic FM97.3 and a story was mentioned that got me thinking.
It was a story about a Cleaner who found N12 million ($27,000) in a toilet and handed it over to the security till the owner of the bag came forward to claim it.
And a question rose within me, which interestingly, Jimi Disu, one of the anchors also raised, that people should swear, what they would do if they had found that money. And what struck me in particular was the fact that she earns N7,800 monthly ($37) which is far below the monthly minimum wage approved which is N18,000 ($85). (At the current exchange rate).
In a country where people have been deprived of every iota of self-respect for basic amenities, it’s very strange that there exist individuals that can look above their lack and raise their head high in the midst of it all. Its is very strange as well, that in a country rife with corruption, and dragged by the cuff of the neck in its murky waters, almost being drown in it by the sheer brutality of its nature, with no end in sight as it where, it’s very strange that their exist a remnant that can stand and fight and say, i will not go down this way.
Its is strange, in a country, where the distinction has been made between stealing and corruption, that somebody will dare rise up, where she is not under surveillance, and she had the chance to leave without been questioned, and boldly say, i found this item, it’s not mine, can you please hold till the owner claims it. And as i read online, it’s the third time she is doing it!!
Its is equally strange as well, that she is educated, with a OND Certificate. But it is more strange, the fact that she had been unable to get a good job other than a cleaner job in a country that boast of abundant resources, both human and material. But come to think of it, she is lucky to be working! How many more are rotting away, in search of a job that will at least pay a dollar. the statistics say it all here!
What could be the reason for this attitude? Why would she do this? Am sure some of you will think she was just been plain foolish to have returned it when she could have used the funds to probably start-up a business and resigned from the horrible job paying her less than $40 a month. Or better still, why resign when many more people will forget their bags with currencies of different countries there and she can help herself to the largess. She gave a reason for what she did, and this is it in her own words,“If I have taken what doesn’t belong to me, God will punish me. I am contented with my N7,800 monthly salary. It was not my money. I believe when it pleases God, he will bless the work of my hands and he will make me rich”.
Does the fear of God really exist in our country or what does the fear of God means? I dare to say it that, we do not know what the fear of God means in our nation, for if we do, we would have repented long ago and overthrown the strongholds of wickedness that exist in our land. And it’s not far-fetched, look at Achan who took what is not his in Jericho, look at his messy end, not only to him, but to his family as well! I think a journey through the Book of Amos, will shed more light on what the fear of God means. And personally, i believe the book of Amos speaks to us in our nation this season and not only to our nation, to the “Church” in our country today as well.
Have we been so deprived in our nation that we have no iota of self remorse to condemn evil in our land and stand up for righteousness and truth. Must we always look for what is in it for us first before we decide if we would be of service to our nation and to our fellow brethren? Proverbs 29 describes a chilling scenario and i will urge you to reflect on it as you read it.
I am encouraged by this scripture, that there is still hope for this country. And also by this event of the woman who return that which didn’t belong to her. It re-enforces this saying i have long heard from the mouth of the Late Sage, Dr. Tai Solarin, that “The alimentary canal system of our leaders cannot digest gold”.
In closing, i pray this prayer;
GOD, give us men!
A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office can not buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty, and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.
–Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819-1881 / USA)