National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, has criticised the award of scholarship to stowaway teenager, Daniel Oikhena, by the Governor Rauf Aregbesola Foundation.
The association contended , yesterday, that it was wrong to make hero out of the boy.
It will be recalled that on Saturday, August 24, 2013, the teenager successfully breached the security of the Benin Airport, operated by Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and managed to stowaway at the wheel well of an Arik aircraft on a flight from Benin to Lagos.
The boy was apprehended when he came out of the wheel well on landing in Lagos.
According to Bunmi Gindeh, Public Relations Officer, NAAPE, the association “seriously frowns at the effort by some people to make a hero out of the stowaway boy by publicly giving reward to a boy that at best fell far short of acceptable behaviour.
“While NAAPE does not want to stand in the way of anyone’s fortune, we consider that in this particular case, making such gesture public gives an erroneous impression which makes it a dis-service.
“We fear that such public gesture, even in the name of charity, will only encourage other kids, and even adults, to embark on similar misadventure.”
The association said it was also concerned that both FAAN and Arik had been publicly trading blames over the incident, when the two corporate bodies were both aware of their responsibilities to assist in the process of identification and rectification of the problem, and in a civilised manner.