Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello says the death of Flying Officer, Tolulope Arotile is shocking, devastating and a national tragedy.
Flying Officer Arotile who died in a car accident on Tuesday in Kaduna was Nigeria’s first-ever Combat Helicopter Pilot in the history of the Nigerian Airforce.
In a condolence message signed by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed, Bello described Arotile as not only a combat pilot but a fantastic Aviator who reached the sky in her professional calling at a very tender age of 23.
”It was with great sorrow and shock that I received the news about the passing of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, the first female combat Helicopter Pilot in the history of the Nigerian Airforce.
Late Flying Officer Arotile brought the country to a standstill on the 15th of October 2019 when she was decorated as the first female combat Helicopter Pilot. “This was a huge honour to her family and state, the nation, and the entire women in the country and beyond.
As a trained military aviator, with a blend of professionalism and patriotism, Arotile’s engagement in air-to-ground combat in rooting out armed bandits and other criminal elements in the country, particularly in the North Central region, was a sacrifice that cannot be forgotten”
“We are devastated by the tragic death of this young promising lady who took bravery to the next level, demystified prejudicial stereotype and flew her parents, state and nation high in honour and professionalism.” he added.
While extolling the virtue of the: late young Flying Officer, Bello stated “at the age of 23, late Arotile has woven her own story into the Nigerian Folklore as a patriot who died in defence of her nation.
“On behalf of the state, I commiserate with the family of late Flying Officer Arotile over this irreparable loss and I pray that the Almighty God grants her soul eternal rest, She will be sorely missed” the governor concludes.
Late Arotile Tolulope hailed from Ikoyi Community in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State,