BY Ismail Akwei, 11:24am August 06, 2018,

Nigerians demand state honour for hero who drowned after saving 13 people in boat accident

Photos of Joseph Blankson and his family making the rounds online

A real Nigerian hero was found in 36-year-old father of two, Joseph Blankson, who died after saving 13 people from a boat accident last week in Bakana, Rivers State.

According to local reports, the accident claimed the lives of six people including Mr Blankson who died of exhaustion in the process of rescuing the 14th person.

Blankson, who was a passenger aboard the boat, is described as being a good swimmer from the community and was a contractor working with an oil and gas company in Port Harcourt.

The state government has denied the reports claiming that only one person (Joe Blankson) out of the 24 passengers in the boat who died and the 23 others were rescued.

“The report we got from the police in that area was that only one person died. And he might have died of exhaustion after helping in the rescue efforts,” the state’s police spokesperson, Nnamdi Omoni, was quoted by local media.

Nigerians, however, were not pleased with the silence of the federal government on the heroic acts of Joseph Blankson. The state authorities only issued a message of condolence to the family.

The story of the young man has gone viral on social media with people comparing the Nigerian government’s reaction to that of the French who honoured 22-year-old Malian illegal immigrant, Mamoudou Gassama, for saving a 4-year-old child from falling off from the 4th floor of a building in Paris.

A petition has also been launched online demanding state honour for Joseph Blankson.

“I hereby call on the Government of Rivers State of Nigeria to immortalise Joe Blankson and also provide for the family he left behind. Such heroic effort deserved [sic] even both State and National Honours. It is not only politicians who loots [sic] our public treasury that should be given awards or immortlaised [sic]. Joseph (Joe) Blankson in every sense of it should be honoured and immortalised,” writes Maclean Eneotu who started the online petition on Friday.

Already, 219 people have signed the petition.

Below are some more comments on social media on the heroic acts of Joseph Blankson.

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: August 6, 2018


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