24 years Tolulope Arotile, died of head injuries sustained after a former school friend accidentally reversed into her while she was trying to greet her, the country’s air force said in a statement.
President Muhammadu Buhari said he received the news with “deep pain” and sent condolences to her family and colleagues, his aide said in a statement.
Buhari recalled he had witnessed Arotile skills in flying combat helicopters and saluted her contributions to the nation’s battle against terrorism and armed banditry attacks.
“The President salutes Arotile’s bravery in the field to protect the country from onslaught of bandits and terrorists, assuring that her memory will be indelible, and her efforts remembered.
Among Nigerians pouring out tears for Tolulope, Shehu Sani also shared his pain and condolences over the lost.
Sani is his twitter handle page
, twitted; “It’s sad to learn that that few minutes after I passed the NAF Airforce Base Kaduna,a tragic accident happened which took away the life of one of Nigeria’s finest and first female combat Helicopter Pilot,Tolulope Arotile.A great loss to our country.May her soul Rest In Peace.
Tolulope Arotile was a shining star who broke barriers & defied conventions.She raced through an uncharted & dreaded path & braced d tape in victory.She refused to be hindered by neither d ceiling nor d sky.She was a woman who conquered d impossible & the unimaginable. RIP
Tolulope Arotile; The authorities should avail the general public with the details of the circumstances behind the death of this great Nigerian.’Traffic accident’ comes in different forms”.
The Chief of the Air staffs, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on behalf of NAF also commiserates with the family Tolulope Arotile.
In a twitted shared on NAF twitter handle page
, Sadique Abubakar twitted; “On behalf officers, airmen, airwomen and civilian staff of the NAF, commiserates with the family of late Flying Officer Arotile over this irreparable loss. We pray that the Almighty God grants her soul eternal rest.
During her short but impactful stay in the Service, 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.
It is with great sorrow that the @NigAirForce regretfully announces the unfortunate demise of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, who died on 14 July 2020,
I was heart broken when I received the sad news of the death of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile yesterday in Kaduna. Tolulope, who was winged in October 2019, as the first female @NigAirForce combat helicopter pilot, was one of our shining young stars.
She was a very intelligent, disciplined, confident & courageous young officer who added value wherever she served. As a squadron pilot in Operation GAMA AIKI in Minna, Niger State, she flew her quota of anti-banditry combat missions to ensure a safer, more secured Nigeria.
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I recall meeting her at the Minna Airport, while on operational visit, after one of such missions & seeing her eagerness to contribute towards the restoration of lasting peace to the affected areas. Her death is a huge loss to @NigAirForce family & indeed the entire Nation.
On behalf officers, airmen, airwomen & civilian staff of @NigAirForce, I once more condole with the family of late Flying Officer Arotile over this irreparable loss & sincerely pray that the Almighty God grants her soul eternal rest”.