Do you agree with me that honest living is worth the effort? I can practically ‘hear’ some people scoff and sneer at this question. Actually, I totally understand if you think that being honest isn’t worth the effort. After all, our society hardly recognize people who are honest and decent. In fact, people who practice dishonesty, even in little ways, are often called “smart.” They tend to get away with their actions, and are even eulogized. But, does honest living attract any reward?
I decided to write about this subject because of a sensational story posted on my old schoolmates WhatsApp group page. I don’t know the original source of the story, but I can relate with it because I know a few persons who have had similar experiences while working for their different government organizations. Read the story below and see if you too can identify with the man’s experiences.
The Honest Policeman
A retired police man, who is a devout man, experienced the truth that honest living is worth the effort. While in service, they nicknamed him “Pastor,” because of his honest living. His was also then popularly known as “HE NO DEY GIVE, HE NO DEY TAKE”…because he refused to give any bribes to get good posting; he also would not take any bribe from civilians. As a result, he suffered bad posting for about 34 years. He could only rise from Constable to DSP.
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Most people he worked with never liked him because they saw him as a spoiler. This meant that he was never posted anywhere he will earn any reasonable allowance. This DSP was disliked generally because of his honest living. He stood for righteousness and never liked cheating innocent people. Even some wealthy men disliked him because he would expose anyone who did anything evil in his presence, and even make them face the wrath of the law.
From one state to another, he was transferred and he kept moving. This was how he moved about for 34yrs and 5months. For all of the years he worked in the police force, he had no house or even a landed property, but he managed to educate his four children with his meagre salary and his wife’s petty trading. Things took a different turn about 7 months to his retirement from service, after he was posted to the Police Force Headquarters, Abuja on standby duty.
A Twist in The Story
He was in charge of standby men at the Force Headquarters, during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo. Mallam Nasir El-Rufai was the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory at that time. During the enforcement of the Abuja master plan of 2006, the government needed to do some demolition within the Abuja metropolis. The Minister drove to Police Headquarters and requested for some policemen to be attached to the Task Force in charge of demolition. So this DSP, now advanced in age, was asked to lead the men on the special duty.
The team went to carry out the duty assigned to them by the honorable minister without any hassles. After about two days of working, the minister picked interest in the DSP because of his commitment to duty. The Minister approached the DSP and spoke with him.
“Officer how are u?” the Minister asked him. “Fine sir,” he replied the Minister.
“Do you have a car?” El-Rufai asked.
“I have one push-and-start Volvo,” was the DSP’s response.
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Indeed, the officer had a Volvo 1992 model which he stopped using since there was nobody to help him to push it. He had no money to buy a new battery, because of his meagre salary. And that was all he had as property in his over thirty-four years of serving his country.
At this point, the Minister asked one of his aides to bring a key from his office, and handed over the key to the dutiful DSP. It turned out to be the keys to a brand new Toyota Prado jeep parked at the secretariat! The old man was surprised.
The Minister said, “this is now your new car, I just like you.”
Wow! The man couldn’t believe what just happened. Was he dreaming? They went out that day on their routine duty of providing security for the Task Force. When they returned same day, the minister called the DSP, now his friend, and engaged him in another conversation.
“Officer, do you have a land?” the Minister asked. “Sir, apart from this jeep you gave me and my push-and-start Volvo, I have nothing else on earth,” he replied the Minister.
“How long have you been in service?” El-Rufai asked again.
“I have only 7 months to retire, sir!” He responded and gave a salute.
The Minister, now moved with compassion, handed over documents of a plot of land located at Asokoro in Abuja to him.
The man was simply overwhelmed with what was happening! While still looking with bewilderment, the Minister surprised him further. The Minister asked his aide to take him to one of the duplexes at Wuse, Phase II, Abuja and handed over one of the houses to him.
The man simply collapsed….out of joy.
A New Twist
The news went viral at Force Headquarters. Without realizing it, the man who posted him there just to punish him was actually pushing him to new heights. Not long after that, the Minister traveled abroad. The DCP in charge of operation at the Force Headquarters who posted the DSP for the assignment wasn’t pleased with the development. He quickly moved to remove the DSP from there and returned him to his standby duty at the Force Headquarters. The DSP then posted his own brother to go and take over the special duty.
Back at the Force Headquarters, the DCP told the DSP to sell all the gifts he received from the Minister and present the money to them. He was told that whatever he was given was for the special duty team, and so he must share the money with everyone who took part in the duty.
The DSP told the DCP that those things were given to him personally, and not the team.
But the DCP threatened him, and insisted that he must obey the last orders! As a man of peace, the DSP simply agreed to bring forward all the gifts.
While they were still on the matter, the Minister returned from his trip abroad and asked after his friend, the DSP. They told him he has been replaced by the ASP in their duty. Furious, the minister called the IGP and asked him to return his friend to him. The IGP called the DIG Operations and ordered him to post the man back, that he was not aware of any change!
The DIG asked the DCP who removed the officer to use his own official Hilux to return the man to the Honorable Minister. He should personally hand DSP over to the Minister and give a report back to him with immediate effect!
The DCP, forced to obey the last order, took the DSP in his Hilux with escorts and drove straight to the secretariat, and handed over the DSP to the Minister. Minister El-Rufai gave the DCP $100 and asked him never to remove his friend until the special duty was over!
The DSP remained there till his retirement time. El-Rufai personally called his friends and hosted a banquet to celebrate the DSP on his retirement. On that day of his retirement, the Minister gave him a check of N10 million. The
minister’s friends donated several millions and handed it over to the man. One of the friends also gave him a plot of land inside Abuja Central Business District that was worth N200 million!
This was how God blessed the DCP within the last 7 months of active service. Even though he had to endure ridicule and deprivation for nearly 35 years, he was eventually rewarded. In his case, honest living is worth the effort!
What do you think? Would you be willing to endure ridicule for such a long time for doing the right thing? Do you think honest living is worth the effort? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.