Jude Onah, a 24-year-old secondary school dropout caused a pleasant stir on Prince Njoku Street, Sabongari, Zaria, Kaduna State, when a large number of people in his neighbourhood rushed out to catch a glimpse of the gleaming red special tricycle he built, and which has features of a car.
As Onah drove the 2-passenger vehicle for the first time along the street, the crowd jubilated, shouting and praising him in unison.
“This man is a wizard, he is a wonderful man, government needs to encourage somebody like this and take him abroad for further studies,” one of them said.
Another added: “You have done well, you will live long to enjoy your sweat.”
When newsmen asked Onah why he spent money to build the tricycle, instead of investing in his education, he said that at the time he built it, he had not obtained a WAEC certificate to enable him go back to school to further his education.
The Enugu State indigene, whose ambition is to become an aeronautic engineer, is currently into trading and sells floor tiles in Sabon Gari area of Zaria.
He further told newsmen that the burning desire in him over the years to build the tricycle did not allow him to see the importance and urgency of completing his education.
One of his friends, Audu Bawa, described Onah as an easygoing man who loves to keep himself busy all the time, doing his business.
“I want to advise the government to help him, he is an asset to this country in terms of human resources.” Bawa said.
Onah explained how he got the push to build the tricycle: “First, I learnt how to weld, and later I began to source for the materials that I used in building the tricycle. Whenever there was power supply, I would begin to put the parts together, fixing whatever I needed to fix.
“It took me one year to construct it due to power instability and I worked only on weekends. The name of this tricycle is Velorex Trike but I call it aerodynamic car. It is a two-seater tricycle car and it uses petrol.”
He said further: “I was taken away from the village by my cousin who is a business man in Zaria with the intention that he would sponsor me in school after seeing the creativity in me. But after I completed JSS3, he stopped me from going to school and asked me to join him in his business and I had no option than to obey.
“After serving him for years, he finally settled me in 2016; that was when I opened my own shop, did some business and then started this project from my savings. It cost me #700,000 to build the tricycle.”
Onah revealed that after dropping out in JSS 3, he later enrolled for extra mural classes in 2015. In 2016, he registered for the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination and passed with good grades.
“My appeal to the State and Federal Governments, is that they should assist me in achieving my dreams of becoming an aeronautic engineer. They should sponsor me to gain more knowledge so I can contribute to national development.”