Why I returned salaries paid into my father’s account after his death – Yusuf Suleiman
Yusuf Suleiman, a 32-year-old businessman from the Sumaila Local Government Area of Kano State, has gained national attention for his exceptional act of honesty.
He recently returned the sum of N328,215.75 paid into his late father’s bank account by the Kano State Government as salary from the time of his father’s death until the present. In an exclusive interview with TED ODOGWU, Yusuf Suleiman shares the motivations behind his remarkable gesture.
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A Principled Family Background:
Yusuf’s late father, Suleiman Datti (Magatakardan Sumaila), was a civil servant who worked as a clerical officer on Grade Level 06 in the Sumaila Local Government Area of Kano State. He passed away on Thursday, November 10, 2022, following a brief illness. Suleiman Datti was survived by one wife and 11 children.
Yusuf is the eldest child of the family, currently 32 years old and a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources from Cambridge International College, Britain, Sudan Campus.
Diverse Business Ventures: Yusuf Suleiman is a multifaceted businessman. His primary occupation involves dealing with cattle, which he occasionally transports in trucks from Kano to his numerous customers, primarily butchers in Asaba, the Delta State capital. Additionally, he is involved in rice farming and the business of supplying ordered goods and services beyond Kano State.
A Man with a Strong Moral Compass: The act that brought Yusuf Suleiman into the spotlight was his decision to return the N328,215.75 in salary paid into his late father’s bank account. This sum covered the period from his father’s passing until the present. Yusuf’s motivation was deeply rooted in his faith and principles. He believes that returning the money was an act of fearing God and avoiding potential consequences in the hereafter.
Communication with His Siblings: Yusuf discussed the situation with his siblings, and they all supported his decision to return the money. Their collective encouragement reinforced Yusuf’s commitment to his principled stand.
Facing Criticism and Praise: After returning the money, some individuals criticized Yusuf, calling him names like “blockhead” and “finished man.” However, others praised him for his conscience, kindness, and transparency.
Governor’s Recognition: Yusuf took the initiative to contact one of the governor’s senior special assistants through Twitter to inform him about the salary deposited into his late father’s account. He expressed his desire to meet the governor in person to refund the funds, citing his trust issues with many civil servants regarding money matters. The senior special assistant was pleased with Yusuf’s gesture and facilitated a meeting with the governor.
A Tribute to His Father: Yusuf Suleiman remembers his late father, Suleiman Datti, as a kind and wise man who imparted valuable life lessons to him. His father’s teachings on honesty, transparency, and integrity played a crucial role in shaping Yusuf’s character.
Supporting His Family: Following his father’s passing, Yusuf became the sole provider for his family of 11 siblings and his mother. His siblings are not gainfully employed, making Yusuf’s efforts to support them even more crucial.
A Mother’s Resilience: Yusuf’s mother has been actively involved in supporting the family’s needs. She engages in selling incense sticks, firewood, and pepper to contribute to the family’s upkeep.
A Difficult Burden: Yusuf acknowledges the enormous responsibilities he has inherited and the challenges of filling the void left by his father’s passing. He has assumed the role of the family’s caretaker and provider, a role he takes very seriously.
Determined to Preserve His Dignity: Despite the fresh challenges Yusuf faces, he is determined not to seek financial assistance from the governor or anyone else. He wants to maintain his dignity and integrity, ensuring that his actions are not misconstrued as a means to transfer his liabilities to others.
A Message of Inspiration: Yusuf Suleiman hopes that his story will inspire other Nigerians to emulate his honesty, transparency, and integrity. He believes that these virtues align with the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and can contribute to a more ethical society.
Yusuf’s unwavering commitment to honesty, even in the face of criticism, serves as a testament to the power of principles and integrity in today’s world. His actions have ignited a conversation about values, accountability, and the impact of a single individual’s choices on society.