Why I prefer prayers to N50,000 offered me after returning missing phone – Lagos okada rider
Tosin Adedokun, an NCE holder who rides commercial motorcycle popularly called okada, for a living in Lagos, tells OPEYEMI ADEFEMI how he rejected a monetary gift after returning a missing phone
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Tosin Adedokun. I am from Isale Oyo in Oyo State and I am 28 years old.
Are you married? Do you have children?
I am not yet married and I don’t have kids yet. My getting married is in the hand of God. I will (get married) when God says the time is right.
When did you start riding okada?
I started commercial motorcycle business since my secondary school days. This should be my twelfth year riding okada.
Why didn’t you further your education after secondary school?
After secondary school, I did NCE but I have not been able to further because of financial constraint.
How much do you make daily operating okada?
Whatever I make everyday depends on how God blesses me that day. Some days, I make N1,500 in the morning after all deductions, which include feeding and fuelling my machine. In the afternoon, if there is a church programme I will attend after which I will go back to my business. What I make daily depends on God.
Is it true you found a misplaced phone and returned it to the owner?
Yes, it is true that I returned a missing phone to its owner.
How did you find the phone and what kind of phone was it?
On that day I was just working and going about my regular business. As I was scouting for passengers, I saw the phone on the ground. I picked it up; kept it in my pocket and got back to my work.
How did you locate the owner of the phone?
The phone had rung multiple times and I was not even aware because it was on silence. By the time I discovered it had been ringing, the owner’s wife called and I told her that they shouldn’t worry as the phone was in safe hands. So, she gave me the directions to her place of work and I promised her that I would bring the phone to her.
What was the owner’s reaction when you returned the phone?
The man was very surprised. He could not believe that someone would actually return a missing phone. Out of excitement the man offered me monetary gift.
How much did he offer you?
He offered me N50,000 cash but I rejected the money and requested that he should just pray for me instead because that is all I need. I rejected the money because if I collected the money, I would spend it all but I believe his prayers will be with me forever. I believe very much in prayers.
Did anyone try to discourage you from returning the phone to the owner?
While I was having the conversation with the owner on how to return the phone, a particular woman was with me and she asked me what the matter was, so I explained to her and she was so surprised that I wanted to return the phone. She commended me and said I was a nice man. Apart from her, no one else knew about the phone until it got to the owner.
Was your decision to return the lost phone to its owner based on your religious belief?
Let me just say that it is God that has been helping me. That would be the fourth missing phone that I would return to the owner. There was a particular woman that forgot her phone on my bike and I returned the phone. She was very surprised. There was a particular time I lost my phone too but the person who found it did not return it to me. However, I haven’t let that discourage me from returning what does not belong to me to the rightful owners.
Do you have any plan for further education?
I once attempted to further after my NCE but I could not afford it. I just hope I will be able to save enough money to be able to further my education. Before that, I will need a job that will be enough to cater for me while in school and also cater for my parents and siblings as well.
Do you plan to quit okada business?
Yes, I plan to do so when I get a job that offers me more money. Sometimes I cry in my room because if I want to marry how do I present myself to my in-laws as an okada rider? Will I be accepted? And will the business be able to cater for my wife? This has been one of my major concerns. I used to have a fish business until thieves entered my farm and stole all the fishes in my pond. I was even thinking that even if I cannot further my education, I should be able to learn a skill that offers more that I get from okada business.