By Bala Ibrahim.
The dictionary describes morality as the principle concerning the distinction between right and wrong, or good and bad behavior. At a time when Nigerians, particularly those Nigerians that fall in the teenager category, are being accused of all manner of immoralities, a pubescent from Kano, in the name of Auwalu, had exhibited a behavior that runs in the reverse of such ills, through a high minded manner that fits the real meaning of righteousness. Call it uprightness or virtuousness, the goodness shown by Auwalu, has given a special meaning to the virtue of rectitude and the merit of nobility. Yes, through his behavior, Auwalu has elevated the status of his family and made visible, the efforts of his parents in entrenching the character of correctness.
Let’s get to the point and talk about this juvenile, who simply introduced himself as Auwalu Salisu, from Tashar ‘Yan Kaba in Nasarawa Local Government of Kano State, Nigeria, and one in the business of operating a tricycle. But before going into the sad state of Auwalu’s social status, which is typically reflective of a difficult and economically unfortunate situation, I would take the reader through the meaning of the business of tricycle operation in Nigeria today.
Since the commencement of the economic hardship in Nigeria, which seems to be biting harder and harder, unemployment has become a permanent partner of the society. Factories and shops are closing, as job losses become the norm everywhere. People are loosing their means of livelihood, homes are increasingly becoming separated, as crimes go on the increase. Statistics have shown that in recent times, many people have been pushed to the taking of extreme measures, including such harsh measures as taking their own lives.
In an effort to survive the situation, some, who want to earn a legitimate living, through means that would provide support or protection against the impact of such economic hardship, go into the business of commercial road transportation, otherwise called the tricycle operation. In Kano and most Hausa speaking states of the north, the name of the business is called, A Daidaita Sahu. It was introduced and promoted by Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, ( Sardaunan Kano), who governed Kano state from 2003 to 2007. In that period, pursuant to the poor public investment in the public transport system, coupled with weak morale and public sector performance, Mallam came up with the Adaidata Sahu concept, which was a doctrine for societal reorientation, that targets the need to revisit values and saw among other things, the establishment of the tricycle means of transportation, due to its affordability and convenience to the users.
In the urban areas, particularly traditional and conservative cities like Kano, where buses and car taxis have difficulty in accessing some locations, the Adaidaita Sahu tricycle serves as a convenient means of transport. The Adaidaita Sahu is also preferred because of the ease of maneuver, especially through heavy traffic and bad roads, as well as its response to the door-to-door services. And now, with the recent action of Auwalu, a new dimension has been added to it’s advantage- Honorableness.
Yes, Auwalu has done something, that would not only bring about honor to his family, but the operators of the Adaidaita Sahu in Kano in particular, and the nation in general. Auwalu Salisu, who is a 22-year-old tricycle operator in Kano, returned the sum of fifteen million naira, (N15 million), that was forgotten by a Chadian passenger on his tricycle in Kano. Addressing the press at the Arewa radio, where the announcement for the missing money was made, Auwalu, said he brought the money after hearing a message about the missing money on the radio. The money, comprising 10.130 million CFA and N2.9 million, makes a total of N15m. Auwalu said he did not notice that his passenger had forgotten the money until he reached home. According to him, he alerted his parents immediately after discovering the money, who ordered him to go and look for the owner.
“I took the man from Badawa to Bata. I went back there after informing my parents. When I reached there, I didn’t meet him and I kept searching. I went back home and gave the money to my mother who kept it inside her wardrobe. I was afraid because I was eager to hand over the money back to the owner. I had no intention to touch a penny. it’s not mine, as such prohibited for me.” -Auwalu.
Auwalu said while he and his parents were thinking of the way out, he heard an announcement on the radio and a number was given to reach to the owner.
“I heard the announcement on Arewa Radio, and they gave a number. I called the number and the owner said he will come to our house, but I said no. We should meet at the Radio Station. We met there and I gave him his money.”
Speaking in the company of his parents, Auwalu said he had no intention to touch the money, despite the difficult situation they are facing at home. According to Auwalu’s father, “We barely cook two times in a day, even yesterday we couldn’t cook while the money was with us.”
Reacting with serious surprise, the owner of the money, who spoke through his brother, Musa Hassan, said he never thought good people like Auwalu exists on earth, and that he had given up on the money. He paid special tribute to the parents, for such proper up bringing.
Unconfirmed reports have it that, pursuant to the display of such behavior, people have been sending gifts to Auwalu and his family, amongst whom are:
1. Hajiya Mariya, who reportedly gave him a house.
2. Sarkin Hausawan Chad, who reportedly gave him the sum of money equivalent to a new Tricycle.
3. Alh. Yahaya Singer, who reportedly gave the family a variety of food that will last them at least a year.
4. An anonymous person promises to give him a scholarship for his master’s degree.
Whether the stories of these gifts are true or false, Auwalu has sent a special message through this attitude, viz: There is a lot of merit in morality.