OONI of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi has called on Nigerians far and wide to draw from the courage and tenacity of Nigerian Pilot, Ademilola Odujinrin enjoining all to look for that positive thing that can bring the country to the fore in a positive light.
The Oba who was on hand in Washington DC to pray for the Nigerian born adventurer in the June 2016 flagged-off when Captain Odujinrin’s aircraft took off, commended the determination exhibited by the young adventurer.
“When Ademilola Odujinrin approached me, I blessed him and prayed that he will go and return in peace. I am happy with his feat and I thank the almighty God for his life.
“I hope Nigerian youths can draw inspiration from his laudable achievement. I am happy that although a lot of people around the world know Nigeria for negative news, this is something positive that Nigeria can be celebrated,” he added.
During a courtesy visit of the Ooni of Ife in his Ile-Ife Palace in Osun state, on Wednesday April 12, the Ooni welcomed Captain Odujinrin on his return, he prayed for the pilot to continue to reach higher and acheive.
Captain Ademilola Odujinrin in his reaction spoke glowingly of HRH, the Ooni of Ife stating, “Some of my biggest motivation was the support I got from my team and prayers from people like the Ooni of Ife. But I will like add that the fear of failure is one of my motivation. I flew a total of 300 hours and encountered challenges such as technical and clearances.”
He went on to share his experience of how he made history as the first African to fly round the world in the project tagged Transcend: One Man One Plane One World, explained that the journey spanned 25 countries across five continents and lasted nine months. He explained further that although the actual duration of the journey was 300 hours (six weeks), the journey was elongated by weather, technical and financial challenges.
The historic adventure was sponsored by Tolaram Group, Translynx Nigeria Ltd and Air Djibouti with support and partnership from various companies and individuals.
“Another very challenging part of the journey was the weather. For instance, I was stuck in South East Asia for two months due to bad weather,” he added.
On how he survived, he revealed, “I lived on water and energy bars just to avoid food as I didn’t have access to toilets.”
Asked why the project which has drawn global attention to Nigeria is not backed by government or relevant authorities, Ademilola lamented that he was turned down. His words, “I approached the authorities but they didn’t show support and I think this was down to people around the key figures. Fundamentally, I think there was the issue of do-ability. I do not think they saw me as somebody capable of flying round the world.”
The world tour saw the 38 year-old pilot traversed the world on a single engine aircraft from USA to Iceland then Europe and into Africa via UAE, India, and Asian subcontinent.
According to Ademilola, he set himself on the tedious journey to encourage Nigerian and African youths at large to inspire a can-do spirit that will help them pursue their dream and never give up. He also has the lofty hopes to reshape the perception of Nigeria through great achievements that defy expectation and to redefine the African narrative.