- The father of the late female pilot, Tolulope Arotile, has spoken about her death
- Akintude Arotile, the father, narrated how he spoke with Tolulope few hours before she died
- The mourning father thanked God that his daughter was able to achieve her dream of becoming a pilot
Akintude Arotile has reacted to the sudden demise of his daughter, Tolulope Arotile, the first female combat helicopter pilot of the Nigerian Air Force.
The mourning father who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday, July 15, narrated how he spoke to the deceased few hours before she died.
Arotile recalled how he had told his daughter to “return home on time” when they spoke hours from her passing.
“Just yesterday, at about 1 pm, I called her because she just came back from an operation against the bandits in Katsina (and) they gave them one week to rest.
“So, she was sleeping and told me she was in bed resting. She said she will later go out to make some photocopies and I told her not to be long and to return home on time because she was staying with my first daughter in Kaduna.
“Around 5:30 pm, somebody called me and asked if I had called her today and I said yes. Then the person told me to call her which I did, but no response, so I called her colleagues, and they were all crying on the phone," he said.
Arotile said he later found out from one of her bosses that his daughter was dead.
He also recalled how his late daughter dreamt about flying an aircraft, saying “she had not just been brilliant, but wonderful.”
The mourning father thanked God that his daughter was able to achieve her childhood dream of becoming a pilot.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the Nigerian Air Force had revealed the circumstances which led to the death of Tolulope.
Tolulope, 24, from Kogi state, died inside the NAF base in Kaduna on Tuesday, July 14.
A statement by NAF spokesman revealed that she was inadvertently hit by the vehicle of a former classmate while trying to greet her.
In his reaction, Governor Yahaya Bello described Tolulope's death as shocking, devastating and a national tragedy.
In a condolence message signed by his spokesman, Onogwu Muhammed, Governor Bello described Tolulope as not only a combat pilot but a fantastic aviator who reached for the sky in her professional calling at a very tender age.
Also, the death of Tolulope has caused much pain to many Nigerians, including President Muhammadu Buhari.
President Buhari on his official Twitter page mourned with the deceased's family, describing the late officer as a promising person "whose short stay on earth impacted greatly on the nation, especially in peace and security."
Nigerians on social media have also expressed their sadness over Arotile's tragic loss and described her death as an irreplaceable loss to the country.
A social media user said: "Thank you for your service & sacrifice. Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile. You will be remembered for your sortes to bring peace and for breaking the glass ceiling for more female combat helicopter pilots."
NAF Officers make history as first female fighter, helicopter combat pilots | Legit TV