- Category: Society
- Published on Friday, 28 October 2011 01:41
- Written by Admin
- Hits: 766
The story of Adijat Olarenwaju, a casual street sweeper in the employ of Speedway Limited, one of the licensed PSP waste operators in the commercial city of Lagos, underscores the fact that integrity and honesty still pay.
The single mother of two whose monthly take-home pay as road sweeper was not more than N10,000, demonstrated uncommon courage - resisting the temptation of making a way with N30,000 she found while on duty on Oba Akran Avenue Ikeja.
For such a low income earner with two children to cater for, N30, 000 (amounting to her three months salaries), would go a long way to addressing, at least to some extent, her immediate needs, but Adijat chose the path of honour and integrity, vowing she would not take what does not belong to her. She must have reasoned, taking the ‘free money’ would deny the owner the good the sum could afford him.
In a chat with CityFile, the young mother told the story: “I resumed as usual in the morning on Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja, where I work as street sweeper with Speedway. As I was sweeping, I saw this polythene bag by the side of the road. When I checked to know what was inside, I found a mobile policeman uniform and N30,000.
“When I finished my work, I decided to take the bag containing the money and uniform to Lagos Television (LTV) on Lateef Jakande Way, Agidingbi. So, there they announced it and the policeman who owned the bag eventually showed up.”
Asked why she did not take the money, especially given her income level, she said, “I have my problems which N30,000 cannot solve. So, why would I take that which belongs to somebody else? No, I won’t take it.”
But if Adijat thought her act of godliness would go un-noticed, she was wrong, as it has not only pushed her to limelight, but moved her close to the millionaire club. Apart from getting instant employment in Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), the young woman also got a cash reward of N100,000 from Ola Oresanya, managing director/CEO, LAWMA, who also swiftly intervened when the police, in their usual manner, wanted to robe the poor girl in for being in possession of police uniform.
That is not all Adijat has received for demonstrating there are indeed good and honest Nigerians, who would not reap from where they do not sow. Last Thursday, at an event organised by LAWMA to sensitise street sweepers on how to stay healthy doing their job, Tunji Bello, Lagos State commissioner for the environment, added to the reward by donating N200,000 to Adijat.
But while she was still smiling, thanking God and the donors, the biggest of it came from the state governor, Babatunde Fashola, who rewarded the young woman with N500,000, in addition to giving her two children scholarship.
In her response, emotionally overwhelmed Adijat, with tears streaming down her face, thanked the donors and the state government. “I did not expect that returning just N30,000 would fetch me so much within two weeks. God bless LAWMA, God bless the commissioner, God bless Governor Babatunde Fashola.” (BusinessDay)