Honesty, they say, is always the good policy to those who know its secret. Mr David’s family is a good example as the family portrays the expression. The family lives in Kogi town of Oyo State in Nigeria. Mr and Mrs David had two Children; a boy and a girl. Bode, who is a boy, was in Primary Five and Dorcas, a girl was in Primary Two at Kogi primary school.
Kogi town was a beautiful one because of hills surrounding the town like a rainbow, beautiful rivers God situated there like dams and animals that were camped as if they were in the zoological garden. The visitors were able to visit Kogi because they were friendly and good people.
Mr David was a responsible man who loved his wife and his children. As a good father, he advised his children to be of good behavior in the society. Mr David did not hesitate to instill of God in the family members. The hard work and honesty were the songs of the family. Mr David was traditional weaver of Ofi attires. He often travelled wide and far to sell his weaved clothes and to buy his weaving materials in neighbouring towns and villages on their market days.
Mr David’s customers loved his weaved clothes because they were nicely made and of good quality. Ofi weaved are uses for marriage ceremonies and traditional dresses. He was an honest man by example. As a storyteller, his children loved to sit by his side to enjoy stories about his life, the people he worked with and his family life.
‘The topic of story today is Reward for Honesty,’ Mr David said. ‘Okay we are listening,’ Bod and Dorcas replied. Mr David said, ‘After the story, each of you must tell me the lessons you have learnt in the story.’ The children said, ‘Okay dad.’
Mr Charles is a man who is highly esteemed and respected by his friends. His well-known alias is ‘Honesty’ because his reaction to every fraudulent incident in the bank where he is working. He always sings in the air of people that, ‘it pays to be honesty.’ Honesty has become the second name of Charles and much of a creed than a mere aphorism to him.
He accepts this as a way of life because of the stern and honest parents he had. According to him, his parents instructed him to be honest always in all his dealings and to accept honesty as his guiding principle. As he was growing up, his father usually told him to be honest and shame the devil. His determination to be honesty has eventually made him what he is today. ‘What?’ Dorcas asked inquisitively. Mr David replied, ‘a respected banker.’ ‘Do you want that,’ Mr David asked again. ‘Yes yes dad,’ the children said loudly.
Charles had a little education which did not take him beyond secondary school. He could not go secondary school because his father died while he was in school. Despite the poor background, he decided to be honest. He was lucky to get employed in a commercial bank as a messenger. In the bank where he was working, he was well-known as a man who always stood by the truth and whose avowed policy is honesty. ‘We would not be having cases of fraudulent practices in our banks if we can be honest,’ was always his spontaneous reaction whenever there are incidents of fraud in the bank. He contributed to foiling fraud attempts planned by some of his colleagues either by refusing to conspire with them to steal bank money or by alerting his bosses whenever he was aware of any attempt to defraud the bank.
His honesty paid off one day. One Thursday afternoon, a gang of armed robbers stormed the bank and ordered everybody in the bank to lie down and face the ground. The manager of the bank was forced to surrender the key of the vault where the bank’s money was kept. A lot money was carted away as the robbers collected all the money from the cashier and the bank’s vault.
As the robbers were hurrying away, they forgot to carry along with them three boxes containing millions of naira which they had packed out of the bank and kept at the back of the bank. Two days after the robbery, Mr Charles saw the three boxes left at the back of the bank while he was burning some rough papers he was asked to burn by his boss. He called the manager and other top members of the bank and took them where the boxes were dumped.
The bank management rewarded Charles with a promotion to the post of supervisor and a cash award of five thousand US dollar. His promotion had since then been rapid and in the last Annual General meeting of the bank, he was honoured with promotion to the post of a manager. When he was invited to mount the rostrum, the master of ceremony said of him: ‘He is singled out for this honour and award because he has demonstrated that he deserves the alias ‘Honesty.’
‘Daddy tell us more stories,’ Bode said. ‘I will, but do you learn from this story?’ Mr David asked. Dorcas replied quickly, ‘we should be honest.’ ‘The story is interesting, Bose said.’ ‘Daddy, tell us more stories,’ the children said. Mrs David called from the kitchen, ‘Bode! Dorcas! Come and help me in the kitchen here’
‘Ooh, mummy! We are enjoying daddy’s stories.’ Bode complained. The children turned to their daddy to continue with his story.
‘No!’ Daddy answered. ‘I will continue the story after dinner. Go and help your mother. It is good to be helpful to your parents’.
‘Children,’ Mr David called to their attention after dinner. ‘I shall travel again tomorrow Monday_ a market day and I will return by weekend, God willing. I want you to behave well at home and in the school. He emphasized, be hardworking and honest.’
‘Yes daddy,’ they both chorused. ‘Daddy what will you bring for us?’ Dorcas asked. ‘I will bring you good things that you will all like.’ Mr David answered.
‘Oh, thank you daddy,’ the children said.
Mr David set off on his journey to make sales and to buy more materials for weaving. On the way, Mr David and other travelers were attacked by thieves and they stole all money and expensive weaved Ofi clothes from him. The situation turned Mr David’s destiny upside. He became poor and he can no longer take care of his family adequately.
One morning, the school headmaster sent for Bode and Dorcas, his youngest sister to take their bags and leave the school until their school fees were paid. The children returned home in tears.
Mr David was longer a happy and comfortable man because his children had not been going to school for not paying their school fees. He decided to pay a visit to some of some of his friends at Oke-Ola, a nearby town for any assistance they could render to start his trade and to make sure that his children get back to school.
Despite his present humble background, Mr David never joked with prayers. One morning, he called his wife and children for prayer, their usual daily devotion before he travelled. He also emphasized it that honesty had a reward. They should not compromise it.
Mr David set off on his journey. As about to leave, a town crier announced, ‘Kere o, the king said all pupils of Kogi town are invited to the palace for an award. Please be punctual.’
Kogi town had been nominated by the State Government for a Federal Government scholarship. The winner would enjoy free education and other benefits throughout secondary school and the university. The king desired not only brilliance but also honesty in children he deemed suitable for the contest which would attract a scholarship will be awarded to a pupil in our town. I must be very careful.’ He soliloquized.
‘We must present the child of a reputable name that would make this town proud.’ The king emphasized it. The king then sent for one of his chiefs who was very meticulous and clever. ‘My Chief! Chief Ologunde,’ the king greeted. ‘I need a primary school pupil who was honest in this town to present for upcoming award. How can we get the person?’ The king asked inquisitively.
‘Long live the king, though it may little bit difficult, give me time till tomorrow. I will be here for a trick to use to get an honest pupil, the chief declared and left.’
The following day, the chief returned to the palace. He said, ‘I have a plan.’ The king interrupted, ‘Which plan chief?’ ‘Organise a party for children and invite them. You will also order all your subjects to release their children for the party and for the king’s gift. I too will attend the party’ the chief said.
The king organized a big party after which he ordered his crier to announce his plan to the people of Kogi and invite school children in primary five and six to his palace hall. As each child arrived at the palace, he or she was directed to the hall. The way to the hall was through a long passage. Along the passage, on each side were sacks filled with coins to test their honesty. When all children were seated, foods were served to them as requested by each child.
There were plenty of drinks_ soft drinks and juice. Everybody ate to their satisfaction. After they had all eaten, the chief asked the children, ‘I hope you are all enjoyed the party?’
‘Yes, they chorus.’
‘Now, it’s time to dance!’ he told them. The king wanted you to clap and dance, one after the other and the best dancer shall be presented with the king’s gift.’
The children were all happy. They wanted to win the king’s gift. One after the other, they dance while the chief and the king watch and listen carefully. As they dance, the coins in their pockets jingle and some drop on the dance floor.
Now, it is Bode’s turn. He came to the dance floor and danced as well. The king and the chief listened carefully as before but there was no sound of coins. They asked Bode to dance again. Yet, no coin dropped neither was there any sound.
‘This is the winner,’ Shouted the chief. ‘All the children, except Bode took some of the money along the corridor.’ The king was very pleased with Bode. ‘What is your name?’ The king asked. ‘My name is Bode David,’ answered Bode.
‘You are an honest boy, and because of your honesty, you have won the gift. You will represent Kogi town and Oyo State for the scholarship.’ The king said.
Bode was named the winner of the Federal Government scholarship.