Wednesday, July 15, 2020 4:10 pm
Nigerians, led by President Muhammadu Buhari are mourning the country’s first female combat pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, who died at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna State on Tuesday.
This is as more fact are emerging on the tragic incident that led to the death of the 24-year-old record breaking military officer.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information Air Com. Ibikunle Daramola in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday said the deceased was hit by a car driven by a former classmate who wanted to greet her.
He added that Arotile died while receiving treatment at the hospital where she was taken to.
Daramola said, “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.”
President Buhari extolled the virtues of the first female combat helicopter pilot of the Nigerian Air Force in a message of commiseration to her family signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina on Wednesday.
The statement read, “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.
“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.
“President Buhari commiserates with the Nigerian Air Force, airmen, airwomen and all friends of the deceased, recalling her deft skills in maneuvering combat helicopters, which he had physically witnessed with pride.