Well-meaning Nigerians have donated over N1 million to Ejiro Otarigho, a tanker driver, who risked his life last week to save residents of a community in Delta State from becoming casualties of a tanker explosion.
Frank Tietie, Executive Director, Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER), on Tuesday, presented Otarigho with a cheque of N1,216,300.88K.
This represented the sum total of donations made for the driver between June 12 and 21.
Announcing the development via a statement, Tietie said, “I took Ejiro to First Bank, Ahmadu Bello Way, Abuja, and handed him a cheque for N1,216,300.88k (One Million,Two Hundred Thousand, Three Hundred Naira and Eighty Eight Kobo), being total donations made to him between 12th of June and 21st of June on the CASER led Bravery Fund for Ejiro the hero.
“A printed bank statement of the donations was given to Ejiro who cashed the cheque immediately. The fundraiser continues to 11th July.”
Ejiro Otarigho receiving a cheque from Frank Tietie in Abuja
Otarigho made the news on Friday, June 10, when he drove his burning tanker from Agharho town in Ughelli North, Delta State, to the bank of Agbarho River instead of fleeing for his life.
After a video of his heroism went viral, the Delta State Government presented a cheque of N2 million to him. The government also gave him a plaque and and named him youth ambassador in the state.
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) also commended Otarigho.
Meanwhile, the driver has said he would rather have his tanker replaced. In an interview with The PUNCH, he said, “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.”
However, he said he was open to doing some other less risky job to fend for his family.