- Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state on Thursday, July 23 said the sacrifices of Late Tolulope Arotile cannot be forgotten
- Governor Bello stated this at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja where the remains of the late Arotile was laid to rest
- Bello further extolled Arotile’s bravery, commitment, patriotism and professionalism, noting that her short life was impactful
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state on Thursday, July 23 said the sacrifices of the Nigerian first female helicopter combat pilot, Late Tolulope Arotile was so huge that the nation cannot forget.
Governor Bello stated this at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja where the remains of the late Flying Officer Arotile was laid to rest.
He said Tolulope as a young female pilot who fought for the peace of the nation both on land and in the air and died at 24 remained a huge inspiration for both men and women in the country and beyond.
He said Late Tolulope Arotile will be remembered as one of those who were willing to put service before self in order to protect the freedom Nigerians enjoy.
Governor Bello further extolled Arotile’s bravery, commitment, patriotism and professionalism, noting that her short life was impactful, a complete book of history and a motivation to improve girl child education and the development of young ones.
Tolulope who hails from Ijumu local government area of Kogi state died on Tuesday, July 14 in a motor accident at NAF Base Kaduna.
Late Tolulope was buried with full military honours at the funeral.
Recall that the Nigerian Air Force recently released a report on the preliminary investigation on the death of Arotile.
Addressing journalists on Sunday, July 19, at the NAF headquarters in Abuja, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, spokesman of the service, gave a detailed explanation of what transpired.
He said Arotile was returning from the Mammy Market (a name residents in military bases across Nigeria commonly call their marketplace) at about 4.30 pm when the incident occurred.
His words: ‘‘Three of her former schoolmates at the Air Force Secondary School (now Air Force Comprehensive School) Kaduna; Mr Nehemiah Adejoh, Mr Igbekele Folorunsho and Mr Festus Gbayegun, drove past her in a Kia Sorento SUV, with Registration Number AZ 478 MKA.
‘‘It is noteworthy that Messrs Adejoh, Folorunsho and Gbayegun are all civilians who live outside NAF Base Kaduna, but were on their way to visit one Mrs Chioma Ugwu, wife of Squadron Leader Chukwuemeka Ugwu, who lives at Ekagbo quarters on the base. New report revealed last survivor of transatlantic slave trade.
‘‘Upon recognising their schoolmate, Arotile, after passing her, Mr Adejoh, who was driving, reversed the vehicle, ostensibly in an attempt to quickly meet up with the deceased, who was walking in the opposite direction.
‘‘In the process, the vehicle struck Flying Officer Arotile from the rear, knocking her down with significant force and causing her to hit her head on the pavement. The vehicle then ran over parts of her body as it veered off the road beyond the kerb and onto the pavement, causing her further injuries.’’
Tolulope Arotile: NAF Flying Officer laid to rest | Legit TV