Fleet Services staff at the City of Edmonton’s Mitchell transit garage have come to respect the power of the integrity that their service-trained bus cleaner colleague Everestus Osuji brings to his work.
Growing up in rural Nigeria, his mother taught him “that what you reap, you sow. Religion and honesty were part of my daily life.” Deeply religious, he considers himself a preacher without a parish.
“Everything is not about money,” he says, “I want to set an example for my two children and for others.
“I am not tempted,” he says. “I live what I preach, completely.”
“I don’t push my beliefs on anyone, but I do try to live my life as an example that inspires honesty and faith in others.
“My beliefs are very simple,” he says. “How you live your life, and where you end up, is completely your own choice.”
Everestus graduated from a large Nigerian university, then joined the Nigerian National Police Force. Fifteen years later, he had risen to become the security chief for a regional deputy governor who later became the country’s current president.
He left the force for professional ethical reasons, emigrating to Canada.
Since he joined Fleet Services in 2013, in some of the buses he cleans at the end of the day, he’s found plenty of cash – $440 in just one wallet – and valuables that have been left behind by bus passengers.
Turning in lost items and wallets is something bus cleaners do as a matter of course, however Everestus open devotion to the principles by which he lives his life has earned a special regard amongst his colleagues.
“I have nothing to show for being honest, except in my own conscience.”
“I will stay on my path.”
Just by being himself, he sets a great example for us all.