President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday condoled with the family of Flying Officer, Tolulope Arotile, Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot who died on Tuesday saying that her short stay on earth impacted greatly on the nation.
“President Muhammadu Buhari received with deep pain the passing of Flying Officer, Tolulope Arotile, condoling with the family on loss of such a promising officer, whose short stay on earth impacted greatly on the nation, especially in peace and security,” said Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President in a statement.
Tolulope Arotile died in Kaduna on Tuesday at Nigerian Air Force (NAF) base after involving in a minor car accident.
According to Shehu, the President saluted 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.
He also commiserated with the Nigerian Air Force, airmen, airwomen and all friends of the deceased, recalling her deft skills in manoeuvring combat helicopters, which he had physically witnessed with pride.
“The President sympathises with government and people of Kogi State on the loss,” Shehu said.
“President Buhari prays that the Almighty God will receive the soul of the departed, and comfort the family she left behind.”
Arotile had just ended a programme at the Starlite International Training Academy, South Africa.
she graduated as the best flight student from her set in 2017.
According to The PUNCH, she was said to have been hit by a car driven by a former classmate who wanted to greet her.
The unnamed ex-classmate was reportedly reversing the car when it hit Arotile who fell and hit her head on the tarmac.
She subsequently died while receiving treatment at the hospital where she was taken to.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information Air Com. Ibikunle Daramola revealed this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.
It stated, “Flying Officer Arotile died on July 14, 2020 at the age of 24, when she was inadvertently hit by the reversing vehicle of an excited former Air Force Secondary School classmate while trying to greet her.
“Before her untimely death, Flying Officer Arotile made significant and outstanding contributions to the war against terrorism, armed banditry and other forms of criminality in the country, flying several combat missions.”
Daramola explained that Arotile joined the Nigerian Air Force out of passion for the job.
Born on December 13, 1995 to the family of Mr and Mrs Akintunde Arotile in Kaduna, Arotile hailed from Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State.