The award of scholarship to stowaway teenager, Daniel Oikhena, by the Governor Rauf Aregbesola Foundation, DeRaufs has been criticised by the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, saying it was wrong to make hero out of the boy.
The teenager had on Saturday, August 24, 2013, 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. He was however nabbed when he came out of the wheel well on landing in Lagos.
Soeaking on the scholarship award, Bunmi Gindeh, Public Relations Officer, NAAPE, said 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.”
NAAPE also said it was 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 in a civilised manner.