Bashir Umar, an airman with the Nigerian Air Force has returned the sum of €37,000 contained in a parcel found at the Hajj Camp market in Kano State to the owner.
The money belonging to one Alhaji Ahmad was found during a routine patrol by Umar, who was one of the NAF Mobile Air Defence Team members deployed for airport security duties on Tuesday.
The airman later contacted the owner via a phone number written on the parcel containing the cash.
Noting that Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, the Chief of Air Staff, received the news of Umar’s honesty with excitement, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, the Director of Public Relations and Information of NAF, stated that NAF Chief of Administration had been directed to “immediately come up with modalities to reward the airman.”
According to Daramola, “The air force is set to reward one of its personnel, Aircraftman Bashir Umar, who found and returned the sum of €37,000 to Alhaji Ahmad, the owner of the lost money.
“The incident occurred at the Hajj Camp Market in Kano on Tuesday, when Bashir, while on a routine patrol with some of his colleagues, found the money in a parcel. Fortunately, there was a phone number on the parcel, which the airman called, and he eventually handed over the package to the owner.
“Consequently, the Chief of Air Staff has directed the Chief of Administration at the NAF Headquarters, Air Marshal Kingsley Lar, to immediately come up with modalities to reward the airman so as to encourage other personnel of the service to continue with attitudes that reflect the air force’s core values of integrity, excellence and service delivery.”
The act of integrity, however, caught the attention of the President, Muhammadu Buhari, who described it as “uncommon, patriotic and exemplary,” while enjoining Nigerians, especially the youth, to emulate such worthy conduct.
The airman has now been given accelerated promotion, 2 steps forward to the rank of Corporal. He has not only skipped the rank of Lance Corporal, but has attained a position that would have taken him over 7 years of uninterrupted military service to reach.
Speaking during the decoration ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff, who also presented the airman with a letter of commendation, expressed extreme delight to be part of the history-making, exemplary conduct of the airman.
He added that the act duly portrayed the good values which the NAF holds in high esteem and this was why an aircraft was specially detailed to airlift the Airman from Kano to Abuja to attend the decoration and award ceremony.
According to him, “the special promotion of Aircraftman Bashir to the rank of Corporal, apart from serving as a reward for good conduct, is also to serve as motivation to other airmen and airwomen to aspire for such elevation. Aircraftman Bashir has earned the rank of Corporal by good conduct and as part of our desire to reward uncommon good deeds and excellence, we have chosen to have him decorated in front of his friends, peers and family.”