A Nigerian man has explained why he rejected N40 million offered him for the bicycle he rode from Jos, Plateau to Saudi Arabia.
Aliyu Abdullahi Obobo rode a bicycle from Jos, Plateau State, to Saudi Arabia between February 2021 to December 2022.
He said he is not regretting turning down the 200,000 Riyal (about N40 million) offered for his bicycle.
He said he prefers that the bicycle be kept in a Nigerian museum as a national monument for future generations to connect with history.
He said he decided to have the bicycle kept and handed over to the winner of the February 2023 Nigerian Presidential election for onward deposit in the museum.
Obobo who hails from Nasarawa State, however, noted that he has received many praises, well wishes and warm welcomes from people for his feat and that it was at such function in Saudi Arabia that one Egyptian pilgrim offered to pay him 200,000 Riyal for the bicycle, at Makarem Ajyad Makkah Hotel.
Addressing journalists on Wednesday in Jos, the Plateau State Capital, he said, “Bringing the bicycle back to Nigeria to be kept in the museum is the result of my deep patriotism and love for my country.
The reason for the pilgrimage was for spiritual fulfilment and not for monetary gains.
“I will be embarking on foot from Jos to Lagos to commence the process of handing over the motorcycle to the Nigerian government for onward keep in the museum.
Obobo said upon his arrival to Nigeria from the Holy Land and hosting in Lagos, the bicycle was then left in the custody of the Chairman of Kosofe Local Government Area, Moyosore Ogunlewe.
He thanked the Lagos State officials and the Hausa community in Lagos for playing a crucial role in his homecoming, adding that upon his arrival in Lagos, he will liaise with the leaders for further activities.
Explaining why he embarked on the journey from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia by bicycle, Obobo said, “It is out of my love for the Islamic faith, the Holy Prophet (Mohammed) and my desire to perform the pilgrimage in my lifetime, but that I could not afford the fare and other expenses involved.
He said he traversed three countries before arriving in Saudi Arabia, namely Niger, Chad and Sudan, adding that he did not initially have a visa to Saudi Arabia and that he had stayed in Sudan for some months to get his visa fixed for him by the Nigerian ambassador to Sudan before proceeding.
Obobo said his pilgrimage eventually turned much more eventful and fulfilling, even more than many privileged people who went with ease, because the news of his adventure got him a hero’s welcome and as a result, he got special treatment and went to wherever he needed to go to in Saudi Arabia and during the pilgrimage.
He said during his journey, he came across many wild animals but God protected him and that he equally came across Boko Haram but they did not harm him.
He said members of Boko Haram said they heard about his adventure in the news and only requested water from him, after which they directed him on the right path to follow.