Events have shown that Africans are neither racist or tribalist. Events have repeatedly shown that Africans would pay the ultimate sacrifice for others if opportunity is available.Not too long ago, the world hailed a Malian, Mamadou Gassama a hero, after saving a child who was dangling from balcony of a high rise building. The French government and the Malian government recognised him. lately, the Nigerian Man paid the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that 13 people were rescued from a capsized boat in Rivers State of Nigeria , whole trying to rescue the 14th ,he drowned and died of fatigue .
In a fast moving world where people would prefer to video dying victims with their cellphones rather than help, this Nigerian Man has shown that we still have Humanists left and would die doing good. He has done good, if it were in Catholic church , he would have been made a saint ! Maybe Saint Berepele, the patron saint of sea travellers! He did a good one. Having two kids and family, he didn’t let this deter him on reaching out to help , with his life not with his cellphones as others accross the globe!
In the word of Jogha Williams, an Ijaw man ,same with Berepele, he said
“Let’s tell that same world that a Nigerian,an Ijaw man,Berepele Joe Blankson,during a boat mishap in Rivers State,single-handedly rescued 13 out of 25 people. As he attempted to save the 14th person, he drowned and lost his life leaving behind his beautiful family.He died a Hero”.
In the words of Petra Onyegbule, she was devastated that the Nigerian media chose not to remember such a hero but would praise charlatans in politics and entertainment. She opined that
“I am a bit surprised our local media isn’t blowing this beautiful story for the world to hear. If he had detonated a bomb which killed 13 people,his face would be on all newspapers and TV screens and his name on front pages for days. He saved 13 lives and we are acting like it’s normal.”
Heartbroken Mrs Blankson said “I thank everyone who has sent money and encouragement….may God bless them for me”.
“I can’t talk to anyone on phone, the little kids haven’t come to terms that their father is no more! If I receive a call ,they would ask if the person is Daddy. It hasn’t been easy for us be it psychologically or emotionally. The kids worry about their father and it’s natural because their Dad was very close to them and a caring man.”
In a country that is in dire search of true heroes, where majority of the leadership has forgotten the term sacrifice, looting and enriching themselves with the Commonwealth of the people, Mr. Blankson has come to change the narrative that Nigeria still have a handful of good men left. May he rest in peace. Mr Blankson was such a detribalised man, married to Mercy Blankson from Anambra and with two kids ,with one less than a year. His name would not only need be remembered as a detribalised man that changed the narrative, he would be remembered as a Nigerian that made the world understand that we still have the need to so good !
On Thursday August 9, 2018 there will be a service of songs in honour of Mr. Blankson.Rest in peace, Mr. Berepele Joe Blankson, a hero we are all proud of.
ANTHONY EMEKA NWOSU
In a country that is in dire search of true heroes, where majority of the leadership has forgotten the term sacrifice, looting and enriching themselves with the Commonwealth of the people, Mr. Blankson has come to change the narrative that Nigeria still have a handful of good men left.