Forty six year old Ejiro Otarigho, the Delta born hero that recently averted what could have become a national tragedy says he prefers the replacement of his burnt tanker.
The newly married man who drove burning fuel truck to avert tragedy, made the the statement in an interview with Punch pointed out that above all else the one thing that matters to him is the replacement of his burnt truck.
According to him, rather than any award, a replacement for his burnt tanker is the most important thing right now because it is his only means of livelihood he has, stressing that since the incident, he has been without a job.
“…I am not interested in any national honour of any sort right now. I know God has brought me to a good place where my story is now being told. All I want is a replacement for my burnt tanker so I can go back to my job. I have just been at home and truck driving was the only way I fed. It has not been easy for me since I lost my tanker,” he said.
It would be recalled that Ejiro drove his burning petrol-laden tanker through a populated Agharho town in Ughelli North, Delta State, to the bank of Agbarho River. Asked why he did not simply abandon the truck after being informed that it had caught fire, he explained that his decision was based on the need to avert an explosion that would have ended up killing thousands of people in the community.
“I kept telling myself, Ejiro, you no go kill any person. You must drive this tanker comot for here first. I knew that if I left the tanker there and ran away, the result would be disastrous. The tanker would have exploded and the damage would be better left imagined. I remembered that there was a river around the expressway. That was what was ringing in my head. I kept driving. As I drove, people left their cars in the middle of the road and scampered to safety. Others managed to park well before running. There was heavy traffic, so it was a battle but God almighty helped me. The more people ran, the more I tried to reduce the speed so I wouldn’t hurt anybody. The back tyres of the tanker were beginning to catch fire but I just kept saying to myself: “Agbarho River! Agharho River!” For me, it was better that I die with the tanker than endanger the lives of over 5,000 people.”