By Aplefe Ojong
Peter Ukorebi, a 2013 graduate of Pereka Secondary Commercial School, Calabar, was born on March 25, 1993 in Calabar, Cross River State.
Right from his days in the secondary school, Peter had shown sufficient interest in the sciences and things that can be done practically. In and outside the school, Peter has always gotten himself materials that he used to transform or build different kinds of toy cars, motor-bikes and others.
As the young Peter got to secondary school, though a commercial school, it was clear to both the teachers and his parents that this exceptional young boy was cut out for excellence in the areas of science and technology if given the necessary opportunity to express his God-given talent at the tertiary level.
Born to the family of Mr. Peter and Mrs. Alice Ukorebi who both hail from Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State, the young Ukorebi, used to make good use of the stock pile of dried bamboos kept by the grandmother and he would take some of them and shape them into different sizes and dimension to build different toys including helicopters which he would tie with ropes and run around with.
Developing from that little beginning, Peter Ukorebi has today built Remote Controlled Airplane made with papers and broom sticks, control switches, circuit boards and diodes, capable of flight.
He has equally built a Remote Controlled Helicopter: Capable of conventional flight in six directions up, down, left, right, forward, backwards and hover.
Peter informed this writer that having served as the Vice President and later the Secretary, Junior Engineers Technicians and Scientists (JETS club) in his school did not only exposed him to his first leadership roles, but had also further stirred up his enthusiasm in leaps and bounds especially in the field of aeronautics.
“I could not help but marvel at the sheer dexterity at which heavier than air vehicles could defy the laws of gravity. My passion for aviation led to the development one of my greatest achievements an ultra light remote”, young Peter stated.
The helicopter developed by Peter Ukorebi equally has the capacity to execute basic conventional flight routines like the hover, forwards, backwards, left, right, up and down while maintaining a 360 degree turn on its axis. It does all these with a dual rotor carved out from aluminum plates to ensure flexibility (flapping) and aerodynamic stability (vortex swirls), among others.
He disclosed that he has been on the project which he built with simplest materials source locally for three years and mentioned some of the materials to include broom sticks, paper, rubber tires, mother board (fabricated from an old CD player), gears, radio antenna, transistors, inductors, capacitors among others each accustomed to suit its purpose
To ensure optimal performance of the helicopter, Peter explained, “I had designed a mobile 360 degree parabolic radar-signal boaster as one of its ground station units, capable of broadcasting infra red waves to ensure the farthest reach. This fit is achieved with a single powered CD player DC motor linked to a dry cell 3.7V lithium battery underneath the fuselage and controlled with a radio to infra red remote control. My first exhibition of this craft was fully covered by some media outfits in the state”.
The young man from Odukpani is also an expert when it comes to computer, especially website designing and content management.
“Due to my disposition and knack for computers, I had enrolled into the Cross River State Information Technology Village (CRSITV) ICT training Institute where I was trained in computer basics, system networking and desktop publishing consequently obtaining certification. #
“On completion I was assigned by the Institute to the Cross River State Broadcasting Corporation (CRBC TV) to sharpen my skills, which gave me the opportunity to appreciate the importance of team work”.
The sad thing however is that the hot brains of this whiz-kid may become wasted if nothing is done by both government, corporate organizations and well to do individuals to assist this ambitious and talented youth realize his dream of going to the university to study Aeronautical Engineering.
He has been given admission into Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University for a B.E Program in Aeronautical Engineering which started on the 1st of this month, but lack of finance still held him back to this hour.
Peter explained, “my choice to study aeronautical engineering came by ardent curiosity, a field of intrigues, alas the educational cost to which my parents could not afford in addition to the absence of a degree awarding university in the field of aerospace in Nigeria; I had no choice but to look elsewhere for quality, affordable education, hence my resolve to study in Russia”.
He continued, “I strongly believe in education this will be a stepping stone to innovation if given the opportunity. If I could build a helicopter, prior to my enrolment in school then the possibilities are endless after acquiring the relevant skill set. And that a day will come when an aircraft shall fly the speed of light, an aircraft that will define the true essence of travel, a product of an aeronaut from Nigeria a child of Africa.’’
He explained that his tuition fee for a session is 6000 Euros, Accommodation per session , 1080 Euros, Medical Insurance 180 Euros per session, and Books and contingency, 10,000 Euros annually.
He appealed for assistance from the state government, corporate bodies, and individuals to come to his assistance to enable him achieve his life ambition of building an airplane and Helicopter for Nigeria.
Parents of this young man who are both civil servants in the state equally appealed to the government and other concerned organizations and individuals to help their child to realize his dream.
The mother, Mrs. Alice Peter disclosed that the son was equally offered admission last year to study in Russia but that as a result of lack of fund he could not go.
Peter Ukorebi had carried out a practical demonstration of his ingenuity before the members of the immediate past state House of Assembly, the state owned media houses like Chronicle and the CRBCTV, and written officially to the immediate past governor for educational assistance, but to no avail.
Would we allow this young man’s lofty ambition to remain unrealized or would we help him to achieve his ardent ambition of making Cross River State and Nigeria proud by going to sharpen the natural talents and give us the first indigenous made in Nigeria aircraft?
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.