The Nigerian Air Force on Thursday announced the promotion of Aircraftman Bashir Umar, who returned €37,000 found in a parcel at Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.
He was promoted two levels, from Aircraftman to the rank of Corporal, a promotion that would have taken him ten years to achieve.
Mr Umar, who is a member of the NAF Mobile Air Defence Team deployed at the airport on security duties, found the parcel during a routine patrol with some of his colleagues.
He discovered the parcel at the airport’s Hajj Camp Market on July 16 and with a telephone number he found on it, he reached the owner, one Alhaji Ahmad, and handed the parcel to him.
Speaking at a special event organised to honour the airman at Air Force Headquarters, Abuja, Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar, an Air Marshal, said Mr Umar displayed an uncommon act of integrity by returning the money to the owner.
He remarked that the personnel also displayed the core values which the Air Force was known for.
The air chief added that Umar was the only non-commissioned officer in the history of Air Force to have an aircraft detailed to convey him with his parents to Abuja.
He showered encomiums on his parents for giving him the values that had earned him the accolade.
“We hold Umar in high esteem in the Nigerian Air Force,” the air chief said.
Aside decorating Umar with his new rank, Mr Abubakar also gave him a letter of commendation.
In a remark earlier, the Commander of the National Air Defence Corps, Ikeja, Bashiru Mamman, had said Mr Umar displayed a rare show of honesty and integrity when he found and returned the money.
He thanked the CAS for considering Umar for an award, saying that it was gratifying and would encourage other airmen to exhibit such honesty.
In his response, Mr Umar expressed appreciation to the Air Force authorities for honouring him with promotion and commendation.
He said returning the money after he found was part of the discipline he got from home and in service.
Mr Umar said there was no way he would have taken the money as his own as, according to him, it is against the doctrine of honesty taught in religious books.