Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Imeh Usuah: A Man Deserving National Award


As a young lad in Ibadan, Oyo State, there was this jingle being played on Radio O-Y-O, the radio arm of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State about a righteous man known as Muibi who returned to government (Police, more precisely)  a large sum of money a passenger left in his taxi. The jingle encouraged all citizens to do likewise. In 2012, another Muibi surfaced, now in Abuja.  Mr. Imeh Usuah, a taxi driver plying Abuja airport road returned N18 million a passenger forgot in his vehicle to the owner. Imeh said he was at the car wash when he discovered there was a bag left behind after dropping the man off in a hotel and immediately returned it. He was quoted as saying: “My mind went back to the man who I dropped at the hotel and I immediately alerted my chairman and he instructed me to go back to the place where I dropped him. I saw him and delivered his bag to him.” There was no account of who the owner of the money is or whether he gave the cab driver some of the returned money in appreciation. In this era of cashless banking, I wonder why some people still risk their lives moving huge sums of money in public transport.

The National Orientation Agency on Thursday, August 2, rewarded Imeh with a token of N30, 000 and an award while the Ministry of Aviation reportedly plans to organize a dinner in his honour. Kind gestures these are, but I think the Federal Government of Nigeria needs to include Mr. Imeh Usuah on the list of honourees for 2012 National Honours Award.  Unsung heroes like Imeh are the true Nigerians deserving high national honours such as Commander of Federal Republic (CFR) and Commander of the Order of Nigeria (CON). People like him are more worthy than politicians and businessmen who are ripping off the country rather than adding value to it. It is high time the Act setting up the Nigerian National Honours Award is amended to include a clause that makes it mandatory for government to withdraw the certificate, medal and delist any of the awardees from the honours list if they are found culpable of any crime by a court of law. The good gesture of Imeh has shown that Nigerians are not all scammers.