“Something doesn’t add up with 2020 no more, but we gonna be fine” popular female activist, Esther Ijewere writes following the sudden death of Nigerian Air Force’s first female combat helicopter pilot, Tolulope Arotile.
Popular journalist Femi Salau writees “This one got to me. I love Nigerian heroes, hate to see us lose one. At 23, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile enjoyed a reputation as Nigeria’s first ever female combat helicopter pilot, sadly for a short while.
This young combat maven was only recently celebrated by Nigerians for her brave credentials. She was a master in the air, an expert in maneuvering the altitudes. A terror to the bad guys. Unfortunately, it was on land that she met her untimely death.We will tell our daughters about Tolulope Arotile. Her story will be told to generations. It is an inspiring story of a young lady who broke the glass ceiling and towered over her male peers.God rest her soul, comfort her family and indeed all Nigerians who mourn her demise.”
Kemi Filani News reports that Tolulope Arotile died after sustaining head injuries in a ghastly road accident which occurred at the NAF Base in Kaduna on Tuesday.
NAF in a press statement quoted the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, as describing her death as an “irreparable loss”.
Arotile, who hailed from Iffe in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, recently completed a programme at the Starlite International Training Academy, South Africa.
She died less than a year after she was decorated as the first female combatant helicopter pilot.
The statement read, “It is with great sorrow that the Nigerian Air Force regretfully announces the unfortunate demise of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, who died today (Tuesday), 14 July 2020, as a result of head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at NAF Base Kaduna.
“Until her death, Flying Officer Arotile, who was commissioned into the NAF in September 2017 as a member of Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course 64, was the first-ever female combat helicopter pilot in the Service.
“During her short but impactful stay in the Service, the late Arotile contributed significantly to the efforts to rid the North Central States of armed bandits and other criminal elements by flying several combat missions under Operation GAMA AIKI in Minna, Niger State.
“We pray that the Almighty God grants her soul eternal rest.”