MIXED reactions have trailed the decision of De Raufs Volunteer Group to give scholarship to Daniel Oikhena, Arik Air stowaway boy. Some Nigerians condemn the award saying it is a reward for the criminality, while others believe the teenager needs encouragement to achieve his dream. Below are what Nigerians said on the issue.
Godwin Otita, Graduate: I like such encouragement because it will help the country to develop talents like him. He should go into aviation industry as a pilot because for him to have escaped shows he is an intelligent boy and needed help to achieve his potentials.
George Okeke, Engineer: My dear, is this scholarship not an embarrassment to a decent society? What is the rationale behind the scholarship? Are we promoting and rewarding criminality? Is it not going to motivate others to do evil? Supposing his action had led to a plane crash? We need to know who trained him to hide himself there. The group may have good intentions, but it is not good for a decent society, especially in the current political dispensation when the nation is being indicted for corruption, criminality and Boko Haram terrorism.
Basil Okagu, Public Servant: He committed a crime because if he had died there people would say that the government was responsible for his death. He beat airport security and risked his life in a dangerous compartment and was airborne for over 50 minutes. Is the group telling us to celebrate the act? I appreciate the gesture but the truth is that we must never encourage such act.
Chinagorom Igattah, Corps Member: I don’t think it would be right to encourage what the teenager did because it might be sending wrong signals to some other people watching and listening. I don’t see the rationale behind the scholarship because morally, what he did was not justified to be encouraged in any way. But he is lucky he; has another chance to take a better look at his life and I pray that God will give him a new life so that he should know that the life he had wanted to toy with is not his.
Kenechukwu Amadihe, Corps Member: Nigeria is a funny place. I have been listening to radio commentaries on this issue and I also read them in the social media, I just can’t understand how people reason; what the boy has done is a criminal act. If he had blown up the aircraft with a bomb, people will not be talking in this manner. Also if he were an adult, I’m sure he would have been cooling off in some maximum security prison by now. Some people called him a hero, while others said he deserves an award but I call it a criminal act that should not be condoned.
Cyril Aja, Student: I totally disagree with the idea of giving him a scholarship. He should have been given strokes of cane. We should not encourage bad behaviour with good gifts. Our leaders need to reward decency, innovation and creativity that will promote a good value system.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Sep. 16, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT