By Jude Atupulazi
In the midst of too much unhappiness in Nigeria, something happened that restored some hope in humanity. That thing happened in Rivers State. It is the story of a certain Joe Blackson, a young man and father of two who gave his life in order to save victims of a boat mishap.
How did it happen?
Recently, there was a boat mishap somewhere in Rivers State. Mr Blackson who was also on the boat, had already swum to the shores to safety, but looking back, he saw more than 23 people drowning. Like most people, he would have been content and thankful to God for coming out alive. He would have elected to go home to his wife and family, after taking shots of the drowning people and posting the pictures on social media. He could have also prepared to go to his church the next Sunday to give testimony of his survival. He did not do any of that.
What did he do instead?
He swam back and dived into the deep river and started to save those drowning people. He saved the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th person. He did not stop. He kept saving and saving until he saved the 13th person. Then his strength left him and he drowned
In dying, he left a grieving wife and two innocent kids too young to even know he was gone. This young man did what many self confessed Christians, including me, would not have done. Like Jesus, he died trying to save mankind.
Now, tell me why this young man will not make heaven. According to some sympathisers, even God would stand up to welcome him in heaven.
This young man’s act has told us that there are still people with the milk of human kindness in our country. He should be celebrated and given the biggest posthumous award the country can muster.
His state government should take over his family and wipe their tears by training his children and taking care of his wife. That is the only way they can reciprocate his gesture to humanity because he did what many national awardees in Nigeria have not done.
May his soul rest in peace.