By Elohor Igbru Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has finally honoured tragic hero, Joseph Blankson, three years after the boat accident which brought him to national spotlight.
Buhari said he honoured Joseph, because he was a “true Nigerian hero, who lost his life while saving others.”
Buhari said: “On Thursday night at the State House, we honored the memory of Joseph Blankson, a true Nigerian hero, who lost his life while saving others following a boat accident on the Abonnema-Bakana waterway in Rivers State, on July 28, 2018.
“Blankson successfully rescued 13 persons, and tragically drowned while attempting the 14th rescue. He was the sole casualty of the boat accident.”
A tragic boat accident
According to Wikipedia, “On Saturday 28 July 2018, the boat carrying 25 passengers left Abonnema Wharf for Bakana. Blankson and his sister were traveling to Bakana for a funeral. It was raining heavily during the boat’s passage and the river was full of debris. Eventually the boat capsized.
“Blankson swam in and out of the river 13 times to rescue the passengers. Suffering from exhaustion, he drowned on the 14th rescue attempt. It was reported that Blankson was the only fatality in the boat accident.”
There have been calls for a national award for his bravery with thousands signing a petition to that effect, a cause which has now been achieved.
“I presented a posthumous Presidential Special Award for Bravery and Patriotism to his wife, Mercy, and his two children, in recognition of the greatness and heroism of their husband and father.
“We will continue to celebrate the best of Nigeria and Nigerians, as we work for and look forward to a better, brighter and greater Nigeria,” Buhari said.