By Saheed Alawode
The day we start work, the next thing probably on our minds will be our pension. How we will relax with our kids and grandkids in our building; save enough for that particular trip we have always wanted to go; start a small farm and live a simple and humble life. But while majority of us could be thinking about ourselves, a certain man was working day and night, tirelessly and diligently, not for himself but to solve a particular problem facing his community. He is Musa Usman, and this is his story.
Musa Usman is a Fulani man from Birniwa Local Government Area of Jigawa State, where he lives with his family in a thatched house. Just like every other industrious youth in the community, Usman sought greener pastures in Lagos, where he worked as a gateman for an Indian, Mr. V. Verghese.
He served Mr Verghese, who is also the Managing Director of Jawa International, a pharmaceutical company based in Lagos for 25 years and afterwards decided to reunite with his family in the village. But because he was loved by his boss and everybody around him, the boss decided to build a house for him as a pension. But Usman urged his Indian boss to instead sink a borehole in his community, because water is a major challenge facing his people.
There were reports that people in Usman’s community used to trek a long distance for water; a condition that made him worried. Seeing an opportunity to alleviate this communal challenge, he chose his community over his own personal ambition and desire.
His kind-hearted boss granted his wish and sunk a borehole for the whole community. Speaking at the commissioning of the borehole, Mr. Verghese said his decision for the parting gift was borne out of a high degree of honesty exhibited by Usman while working with him.
According to the boss, “Musa has served me diligently for 25 years. We would travel to India and leave our house under his care and behold, we would meet everything intact. He is indeed an honest Nigerian.”
Usman, on the other hand, thanked Verghese for his honourable gesture saying he had no regret substituting the house offer with community borehole. Meanwhile, his selfless love for the members of his community has received lots of attention from Nigerians, especially on social media.
One of the prominent individuals who commented on the issue is the founder of NairaBet, Oloye Akin Alabi, who is of the opinion that Usman should have collected the house, sell it and the proceeds can be used to sink more than one borehole. Others also commented on the issue, with virtually everyone praising the selfless and undiluted love Usman has for the members of his community.
Although, Usman might be poor, uneducated and not influential, but he was able to solve one of the challenges facing his people. Putting aside his own desires, for the sake of the general public, he has demonstrated that a life worthy of emulation is measured by its contribution not its duration. He is indeed a great Nigerian whose selflessness and honesty should be imbibed for a better nation.