When Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, came up with Dakkada philosophy, like any other new concept, it suffered some level of criticisms by those who, perhaps saw it as Utopian.
The concept, in a nutshell, was conceived by the state governor and was launched on September 23, 2015 on the occasion of the state’s 28th anniversary. Dakkada meaning “rise up,” is a call to greatness and moral rebirth.
Even though many bought into, owned and celebrated the idea, some still argued that the funds used in propagating the idea could have best been channeled into other meaningful ventures.
But regardless of the burning debate, one thing is certain- the philosophy has somehow found its way into the sub-consciousness of the people and has apparently ignited the passion for creativity and hard work.
Mfon Ime Jackson, a guitar maker, is one of those who have taken it upon themselves to dare the lions. He has taken up what could be adjudged to be the biggest challenge ever attempted by anyone in this part of the country- building an aircraft.
Jackson, 34, who holds an Ordinary National Diploma in business administration, told \StraightNews reporter that his dream is to be the first person to fly an aircraft in Africa.
Even though what he has is only a prototype, Jackson claims that he has spent a whopping N500,000 in building his aircraft. He, however, solicited financial support from individuals and corporate organizations, saying that a donation of about N4 million would make his dream of flying the helicopter come true.
“In the whole of Africa, I’ve never heard that anyone has made an aircraft before; that is why I decided to do this so that Akwa Ibom will be the first state to fly a helicopter in the whole of Africa.
“This is just a prototype. My problem is just financial issue. If I had money, I would have bought about two power bikes. With those, I am sure I will fly this helicopter. I may not use it for transportation purposes yet immediately after I am able to fly it because it is not safe. I just want to make it fly and then I can start working on the safety of the aircraft,” he said.
Married man with a daughter, the up-coming inventor recalled that he most times had to starve with his family just to ensure that he gets the job done.
“I have lost counts of how many times my wife, baby and I had to go to bed hungry because of this helicopter. You know, when a man is passionate about something, he can invest all his life savings to get that thing done.
“I have spent about N500,000 in doing this. If I see support of N4 million, I will definitely fly this helicopter. I just started making guitar like this. I did not learn it from anybody. The same way I can make guitar today, I’ll also succeed in making this helicopter,” he said.
Just as expected, friends and family, according to Jackson, discouraged him obviously because they do not believe that a black man (certainly not one from Nigeria nay Akwa Ibom) can achieve such feat.
He said; “my friends and close family people said I was wasting money on something that will never profit me. They said that I could not even make the aircraft move, but I have proven all of them wrong because this helicopter has, at least, moved. They are now saying that I will never make it fly but I will soon shock them.”
The Wright brothers, who were two American brothers, inventors, and aviation pioneers, generally credited with inventing, building, and flying the world’s first successful airplane may have started just like Jackson.
With no training at all, Jackson started making both electronic and manual guitars. Today, he has a long list of clients who flock around him. Helicopter may sound frightening, but with his kind of determination, Nigeria may just be the first country in Africa to manufacture an aircraft. Only time will tell.