When President Olusegun Obasanjo granted licence to Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) operations in the country to commence business few years ago, Nigerians were happy that at last time has come for them to freely communicate with one another.
The introduction of GSM services was greeted with joy and firms who engage in the production and marketing of handsets flooded the Nigerian market with both cheap and expensive handsets.
Investigation shows that only a few people were lucky to have gotten their handsets back after they have been stolen or misplaced. In some cases, some handset owners even lost their lives in the bid of armed bandits’ efforts to desperately snatch the handset from them. However, only people who are truly children of God with good conscience will pick another person’s handset and return it to its owner without the temptation of converting ownership, especially where the handset in question is fanciful and expensive. The temptation will either be to start making use of it or sell the system at give away price to desperate buyers. Fortunately, this writer encountered a true Nigerian who rather than soil his hand acquiring what does not belong to him rather respected his God and good conscience by making available this writer’s handset that was forgotten in a car back to him.
On that fateful day, precisely about two weeks ago, this writer boarded a taxi at Ogudu Ori-Oke to Ojota bus stop on his way to his office at Ilasamaja when he disembarked at Ojota bus-stop, he forgot the handset and was climbing the pedestrian bridge to board another vehicle to Oshodi only to remember that he has lost his handset.
Confused and dejected, the writer was thinking already of how to acquire a new handset after paying about N2,500 to MTN for the reactivation of the line. But when he called the line with a friend’s handset, there was no response and this writer’s friend concluded that the handset had fallen into a bad person’s hand and the person might have decided to appropriate the handset to himself, if not, why did he refuse to pick the call. Another attempt was made to call and still no response, until the third time when the man Mr John Umolo, a Deeper Life Bible Church member and an employee of Afribank responded and told this writer that the handset was with him and that the writer should come to his residence in Gbagada to pick the handset before he leaves for service.
This writer and his friend could not believe that there are still some Nigerians who are filled with good conscience, to the extent that he picked a Samsung SGHR220 handset, popularly called Blue eye and returned it to the owner.
And so, when this writer got to Mr Umolo’s house at Gbagada, he met the entire family preparing for service. He was told by Mr Umolo that he is 49 years old and hails from Orogun town in Ugheli North local government area of Delta State.
Narrating how he got the handset, Mr Umolo a father of five children who joined Afribank as a security personnel since 2002 stated that he saw the handset on the floor of the taxi he boarded and thought that it was a toy handset. But when he noticed that the service light of the handset was blinking, he picked it and discovered that it was indeed real.
At first, he thought of handing it over to the driver but later decided to withhold it with the fear that the driver might not deliver it to the owner. He then took it home until the writer called. Funny enough, Mr Umolo has no handset, so he could have converted it. But he said his solid Christian background and principles taught him not to take anything that does not belong to him. As he said “Anything that does not belong to you, don’t keep it, it is a sin before God to keep what does not belong to you.”
Mr Umolo further disclosed that his being a member of the Deeper Life Bible Church has great influence on the entire family. He said that as a matter of principle, he always tells his wife and children to have the fear of God in them because “any person who has the fear of God in him can never think of converting a neighbour’s property.
Mr Umolo’s lovely wife Mrs Helen Umolo told Metroview that when her husband returned from work that early morning, he was taking off his cloth when the telephone rang. “I was surprised and I actually wondered how my husband got the handset because he has none.”
As she further stated, “we were even confused as we don’t know how to operate a handset, until a neighbour called Ajala Hafiz who owns one taught us how to operate it.
Mrs Umolo thanked God for using her husband as an instrument of operation to return joy to this writer as he would have gone through the painful process of gathering money to acquire another handset and reactivate his line.
Metroview then went to town to sample opinions of people on what they will do if they find a misplaced or forgotten handset. Miss Catherine Onyeaghala, a student said, “before God and man, I will return it. I will wait for the owner of the handset to call me, then I will arrange with him or her on how to see each other. It is a sin to take what does not belong to me.”
Tokunbo Adedeji, a trader at Oko Oba near Agege also stated that he will return the handset, “I will consider the pains the person will go through, especially during this hard time and I will return the handset.”
Ujunwa Onyemelukwe stated that “I will make sure the owner of the handset gets it back. It is against my conscience to take what does not belong to me.”
Mohammed Abdulmalik, a securityman said that “it is against the will of Allah to take what does not belong to you, I will return it to the owner.” However, a surprise answer came from a motorpark tout at Ojota who simply gave his name as Skido. He vehemently repeated that I will not return it, I will never, I will not return it. Dem send de person, abi na me tellam make him be careless dat one don become my own, if I found am. How I go return what God gave me.”
However, it is very encouraging that there are still Nigerians in the likes of Mr John Umolo who still have good conscience and are never in the habit to convert another person’s property to their personal use. As Metroview observed, they are the true Nigerians who will make heaven.