Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has honoured the late Joseph Blankson for sacrifing himself for others. The father of two successfully rescued 13 victims of a boat accident on the Abonnema-Bakana waterway in Rivers State, three years ago but died while attempting to pull out the 14th victim.
The 41 year-old Blankson was awarded thevposthumous honour at the State House, Abuja, on Thursday, in a brief ceremony in which both his wife and two children were in attendance, received by the President who personally handed over the Presidential Special Award for Bravery and Patriotism to his family in recognition of his outstanding greatness and heroism.
“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,” he said while presenting the award.
Described as a strong swimmer, Blankson is said to have swung into action when the boat he was in had an accident and capsized. According to witnesses, he didn’t think twice about jumping in the water to help rescue those who had fallen overboard. He succeeded in rescuing 13 of the victims but got drowned while attempting to rescue the 14th victim having become exhausted from jumping in and out of the turbulent water. 10 others were rescued by other swimmers in the vicinity, including other boat drivers.
He had traveled from work to his village and was with his sister, one of the survivors when the accident occurred.
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