A pilgrim from Nasarawa State Mallam Suleiman Bello has been rewarded with a free seat for 2016 hajj after he returned about half a million naira he found in Ka'aba, Makkah to the owner, an Afghanistani pilgrim.
The money in various denominations are $2,345 (N466, 655), SR303 Saudi Riyal (N16, 076.84) and 3,020 Afghanistan currency (N9, 370.64) totaling N492, 102.44.
Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Abdullahi Mukhtar Mohammed handed over the money to the owner in the presence of other Afghan officials in Nigeria's Makkah office.
The NAHCON boss announced a free seat for the pilgrim for next year's hajj.
"He (Bello) chose to fear Allah knowing he would account to Allah on the Day of Judgement. He chose to be a good ambassador of Nigeria. He took the property to his state pilgrim officials and they brought it to us so that we can return it to the owner. This shows that Nigerians are honest and God-fearing," Mohammed said.
The owner of the money Haji Mosa Gousdin expressed gratitude to Mallam Bello for his honesty.
Also speaking on behalf of the Afghan delegation, an official of the International Ministry of Hajj, Kabul Afghanistan, Sayed Tahir Hashimi said there were no words enough to expressed their appreciation.
"$2,300 is a lot of money and we really appreciate this gesture," he said.
Speaking when he arrived NAHCON office later in the night, Bello said he found the waist bag while doing Tawaf (circumambulation) in Ka'aba.
He said he was contented and never tempted to go away with the money.
He said he took the money to his coordinator Mallam Hamza Ibrahim Naibi who said that since the identity card of the owner was in the bag it would be easy to trace the owner.
He also expressed joy and appreciation for the free hajj seat reward.