Home Society MEET SAM MADUKA ONYISHI — The Honest Nigerian Who Returned N2.2...

MEET SAM MADUKA ONYISHI — The Honest Nigerian Who Returned N2.2 Billion Naira Paid into His Bank Account in Error


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 “Not everybody can be famous. But everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service… You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.” – Martin Luther King DATELINE: London, United Kingdom. Rewind to 15th July, 1960. Venue: The British Parliament for debate leading to Nigeria’s independence of 1st October, 1960. There were numerous reactions from the Floor of the Parliament that pointed in the direction of an emerging potential great power with bright hopes for the future. Political leaders who fought brilliantly for independence were recognized.  The people of Nigeria too were celebrated, particularly for honesty. The Hansard records Mr. F.M. Bennett, Member representing Torquay  as recalling his experience when he visited Nigeria this way: NIGERIANS ARE PLEASANT PEOPLE: ‘’Last year, it was my privilege to attend the celebrations of Northern Nigerian independence. I recall one small incident which illustrates why I have a special feeling for the Nigerians. I was driving back from Kaduna to Kano at three o’clock one morning when the car in which I was being driven ran out of petrol miles from anywhere in the bush, somewhere short of Kano. I was in a state of despair. There was very little traffic about and I knew that my aeroplane, the only one for a week, was leaving in an hour or two. Out of the blue—or perhaps I should say out of the black—there arrived a small Volkswagen, packed to the brim with Nigerians returning from the celebrations with their luggage, which was substantial. There were six of them in the car. They expressed an immediate wish to help me, but it was obvious that it was physically impossible for me to get into their car. Two of them volunteered to get out and find their own way back—at that hour of the morning. I was bundled in and taken to the airport just in time to catch my plane. They were not rich men, but although I tried to give them some payment, they refused, saying that that was the way that Nigerians always tried to behave to guests in their country. That was 1960. Values and human frailties might have infiltrated the system that produced well-bred youths who were brought up to shun all vices that could taint the name of a family.  It was evil, to say the least, for anyone to tarnish the name of a…

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