Honoured for Their Honesty

On Tuesday, November 19, President Muhammadu Buhari presented Integrity awards to two public servants of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria for exhibiting Integrity in the performance of their official duties. The recipients are ACG Bashir Abubakar and Mrs Josephine Ugwu.

The president presented the awards to the recipients at the opening of a two-day “National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in Public Sector” held at the State House old Banquet hall, Abuja.

The event was organized by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in collaboration with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Mrs Josephine Ugwu is a former cleaner at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos. She had on different occasions returned millions of naira she found in the course of her duty, including the sum of 12 million dollars forgotten in the toilet by an airport user.

In 2006, Ugwu’s monthly salary was N12, 000 but she found and returned over N10 million at the Akanu Ibiam Airport in Enugu where she was working as a cleaner. In 2014, she found and returned N8 million at the MMIA. In the same year, she found and returned N7 million at the same airport. In 2015, she found and returned $12 million from the Lagos airport and, in 2019, she found and returned N200, 000 at the private wing of MMA.

It sounds like a fairy tale but it’s true.

Ugwu is the last of 12 children of her parents. She lost her mother when she was eight months old. She grew up having an uneasy life, but she has proven herself over the years in her place of work as a woman of honesty and integrity.

President Buhari recognised her exemplary honesty and worthy conduct and presented her with a house key while declaring open the two-day.

“How did they say it when we were in secondary school?” Chief Emeka Atama commented in a WhatsApp post. ‘“Honesty is the best policy’. The Bible says a good name is to be more esteemed than riches.”

Assistant comptroller-general of customs Bashir Abubakar rejected 412,000 dollars (N150 million) bribe offered to him by drug traffickers to import 40 containers laden with Tramadol, a controlled and highly addictive drug.

Speaking at the event, President Buhari stressed the need for Nigerians to uphold the traditionally cherished values of honesty and integrity.

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