'Stowaway always dreamt of air travel'

2013-08-29 11:06
Lagos - Daniel Ohikhena, a Junior Secondary School One pupil in Benin, the Edo State capital, fulfilled his dream of travelling by air in the most sensational way after hiding in the tyre compartment of an Arik Air flight from Benin to Lagos.

The thenationonlineng.net reports Ohikhena never told anyone about his passion to be on a plane, not even his mother. His only confidant was his younger brother who he always told that he would one day travel abroad on an aircraft.

On 21 August Ohikhena sneaked away from home to the Benin Airport. Undetected, the teenager got to the Arik plane where he grabbed one of the aircraft’s tyres, held on to it for the duration of the flight, which was less than an hour.

While he survived the flight to the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Ikeja, Lagos - Ohikhena was arrested upon landing.

Following his arrest and his story in the news, security agencies went to Benin for his parents. They got his mother, Mrs Evelyn Ohikhena. She was quizzed yesterday at the Benin office of the Directorate of Security Services (DSS).

After much media attention, the report states Ohikhena's mother found out about his risky adventure via her sister who lives in Germany.

The mother of four, who lives at 6, Ehigiegba Street, off Goodwin Street in Benin, said she was still confused and in shock over the incident.

“When we started looking for him, his nine-year-old younger brother told me that anytime they were watching movies, Daniel always said he would take an aircraft to travel abroad. The boy asked me to check for Daniel at the airport. I did not believe him."

There had been reports of mistreatment at home but his mother denied this saying, “I did not maltreat him. I don’t even joke with my children’s education; I give them the best education. Everybody knows me. Ask of me at Oba Market (in Benin). The only thing that bothers me now is how my daughter will go to school, a Federal Government college.”

“When I heard the news, I did not know what to do or say. I was very weak. Several people asked me to calm down. My only joy now is that he is alive; that is my happiness. I want the government to help me. I did not send him. I’m innocent.”

According to the report Ohikhena remains in custody.
Read more on:    flights  |  travel international  |  aviation

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