Unable to get an Uber from Jabi on Friday morning, Dr Ike Anya decided to flag down the Abuja taxi man who had flashed his taxi’s headlamps at him. But he had no idea that he was about to be introduced to a very rare specimen of a Nigerian – Mr Luke Olaniyi.
Ike needed to get to the bank and then run a couple of errands. Passenger and Abuja Taxi man agreed on a per-hour bill, and off they went.
He eventually asked the taxi to drop him off at home between 7.30pm and 8pm.
According to Ike, he only realised he had lost money by the next morning. After a late night, and enervating sleep, he checked his pockets and figured “Hang on, looks like I’m missing one bundle of N50,000!”
Still thinking about when and how he misplaced the money, a strange number rang his phone.
“Hello Sir, I’m the driver who carried you yesterday,”
An irritated Ike wondered why the taxi man would presume he could call him, just because he carried him yesterday. But his irritation was cut short when the man continued:
“Did you lose anything, sir?”
Only then did it click in Ike Anya’s mind: This call was about the missing money. Unable to contain his disbelief Ike Anya went on to share this good news on Facebook and twitter.
But the soft-spoken Luke Olaniyi had only attempted this semi interrogation to be sure that his gut-feeling wasn’t wrong. You see, this Abuja taxi man had carried other passengers after dropping off our passenger the evening before.
He had also picked other passengers that Saturday morning before he made to clean up his taxi and found the diamond bank bundle under the car seat of the Nissan Sunny Almera – a car which he had only just collected on a ‘hire-purchase’ arrangement.
He, however, asserts that a boarding pass, which was somehow stuck with the bundle, is what convinced him that the money was dropped by Ike.
“As I see that plane paper with the bundle, I know that Oga look like who come from London”
According to this 42-year-old married father of three (a 2-month old baby, and two others in primary school), he was recently robbed by thieves who trailed him after he sold his own car with the intention of buying a new one for his taxi business.
Luke admits to the bite that the economy has on his lean pockets but in his words, “I am a child of God, I have the discerning spirit to know that I shouldn’t take money which is not my own.”
On whether he didn’t feel tempted at all upon finding this money in his car, Luke attests “I want to make heaven.”
Luke Olaniyi worships with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, and serves as Assistant Pastor at the Overflowing Grace Parish, Obasanjo road, Dutse, Abuja.
We certainly wish more Nigerians can be like Luke; even in this recession, and with school fees staring many Nigerian parents in the face like insurmountable hurdles.
Dr Ike recommends the taxi man for people looking for an honest person in Abuja, we recommend him as an example of a good Nigerian. He does deserve the recognition.