Unburned Hero — The Nation Editorial

Posted by News Express | 20 June 2022 | 175 times

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• Ejiro Otarigho


When truck driver Ejiro Otarigho woke up on the 11th of June and set out to work, no prophet would have predicted his date with destiny. He had gone about his duty as usual with an Oedipal blindness. Providence was lurking in the invisible shadows of fate. In the course of his duty,  tragedy struck. His truck sadly burst into flames and instead of jumping out and saving his own life, he did the unthinkable. He stopped and told his assistant in the truck to alight. Then he quickly drove the burning truck up to four kilometers away in what in his view was saving the townsfolk and properties from being engulfed in the flames.

In an age of the internet, his very heroic action soon flooded the internet as the video went viral of his truck burning on the go. After he had come out of the truck alive, there were questions put to him about his very daring actions. He explained that he tried to drive the burning truck off the densely populated Agbarho town, Ughelli North in Delta State to minimize the danger to people and properties were there to be some explosions.

The action of Mr. Ejiro comes as a breath of fresh air in a country almost being numbed by spates of terrorist and inhumane activities of terrorists, kidnappers, bandits, unknown gun men and other harbingers of sorrow, tears and blood. His action coming barely days after the massacre of dozens of worshippers in St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo state just weeks after some religious bigots lynched student Deborah in Sokoto and another man in Abuja on allegations of blasphemy.

Mr. Ejiro’s action again comes at a time when there is tension in the political space as politicians jostle for opportunities to serve even when most of them do not understand what true service means. On the two ends of the spectrum – religious irredentists and politicians, we often see a contradiction when it comes to service, sacrifice and patriotism. Religion of any hue is supposed to be about love and kindness. Public officers are supposed to be those who have the empathy and compassion to work hard in service of others even when the going gets tough. Sadly on the contrary, most Nigerian politicians demand to be served by the people and never sacrifice anything for the good of the people. They often have the best lives and do not care if the people perish. The truck driver has demonstrated that one does not need a special office or have to ‘fight’ for God to truly serve, love people and the Almighty.

His action again shows that humanity still houses good and loving people. Unlike most politicians who even when they are doing their jobs often seek applause through media glitz as they buy airtime and media spaces to publicize what ordinarily ought to be their jobs must take lessons from his selflessness. He never scripted his actions. He was merely doing what he saw as his duty to humanity. He had options. He could have stopped the truck in the crowded space and might not be blamed because accidents happen but he took steps to preclude human casualties.

Source: News Express

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