- Reactions continue to trail the death of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile
- Her state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello says her death is shocking, devastating and a national tragedy
- Late Arotile, 23 is from Ijimu local government area of Kogi state
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Governor Yahaya Bello has described the death of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile as shocking, devastating and a national tragedy.
Arotile, 23, died in a road accident inside the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) base in Kaduna on Tuesday, July 14. She is from Ijimu local government area of Kogi state.
The young officer was Nigeria’s first-ever female combat helicopter pilot in the history of the Nigerian Air Force.
In a condolence message signed by his spokesman, Onogwu Muhammed, Governor Bello described Arotile as not only a combat pilot but a fantastic aviator who reached the sky in her professional calling at a very tender age of 23.
“It was with great sorrow and shock that I received the news about the passing of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, the first female combat helicopter pilot in the history of the Nigerian Airforce.
“Late Flying Officer Arotile brought the country to a standstill on the 15th of October 2019 when she was decorated as the first female combat helicopter pilot.
“Arotile’s engagement in air-to-ground combat in rooting out armed bandits and other criminal elements in the country, particularly in the north-central region was a sacrifice that cannot be forgotten,” the governor said.
“We are devastated by the tragic death of this young promising lady who took bravery to the next level, demystified prejudicial stereotype and flew her parents, state and nation high in honour and professionalism,” he added.
Nigerians have also been reacting to the death of the young officer on social media.
Olúyẹmí Fásípè wrote: We have just lost one of our best The death of flying officer Tolulope Arotile is a big hit on the entire nation. May her soul rest in peace.
Rapper and entertainment entrepreneur, Jude Abaga wrote: Rest In Peace Tolulope Arotile. Nigerians first female combat helicopter fighter pilot!!! At 23 - an angel and superhero amongst us!!!! We won’t forget you.
Olaniyi Samuel wrote: Tolulope Arotile will long be remembered in our heart. Sad we have lost the finest and only one female helicopter combat pilot. Indeed a massive loss to the nation.
Uche Bakaadi wrote: Tolulope Arotile should be immortalised for her remarkable achievement within 23 years. She is an inspiration to the girl child, an inspiration to the Nigerian woman. May her soul rest in perfect peace.
NAF announced Arotile's death was announced on Tuesday, July 14 in a statement by its spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola.
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