Ministers of Women Affairs, Information & NASS members pay a condolence visit to CAS. The remains of late Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, the Nigerian Air Force’s (NAF’s) first female combat helicopter pilot, who died on 14 July 2020, will be laid to rest with full military honours at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja on 23 July 2020.
The Nigerian Airforce made the disclosure in Friday just as the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar received some members of the Federal Executive Council as well as members of the National Assembly who visited him at Headquarters NAF at various times on Thursday, 16 July 2020, to condole with him over the unfortunate demise of the young NAF pilot.
Tolulope Arotile in road accident A statement by Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, Director, NAF Public Relations and Information said, “Among them were; the Hon Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, as well as the Hon Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
“The joint delegation from the upper and lower houses of the National Assembly, comprising 20 members, was led by the Chairman Senate Committee on Air Force, Senator Bala Ibn-Na’Allah, and the Chairman House Committee on the Air Force, Honourable Shehu Koko”.
She, however, noted that the death of the young pilot would not be in vain as she would forever be remembered for her gallantry and contributions towards ensuring a secured Nigeria.
The Minister prayed that God would comfort the entire NAF family and grant the departed officer’s soul eternal rest.
While conveying his condolences, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on his part, prayed that God would grant Flying Officer Arotile’s soul peaceful repose and her family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Air Force, Senator Bala Ibn-Na’Allah, stated that the Committee, and the Senate as a whole, lacked the words to express how painful her death was to them.
He said they were however consoled that there was no greater honour than when one dies while in service to one’s Nation. He described the late Arotile as a dedicated and goal-oriented young woman who lived an exemplary life that was worthy of emulation by other young Nigerians.
While reiterating that the Nigerian Senate shares in the pain of the Service as well as that of the Arotile family, he urged the NAF to continue to give opportunities for many young Nigerian girls to realize their dreams of serving their country as pilots in the NAF.
The Chairman House Committee on the Air Force, Hon Shehu Koko, on his part, while recalling the day Flying Officer Arotile was winged as the first female combat helicopter pilot in the NAF, noted that they at the House of Representatives, being aware of the many exploits the young officer had made in her short but impactful career, were extremely pained by her passing away but had taken solace in the fact that she had left a lasting legacy.
He, therefore, urged the CAS, and through him, the family of the deceased young officer to be consoled by the good deeds she left behind.
In his response during the visits, the CAS expressed his appreciation to the esteemed dignitaries as well as all Nigerians for their overwhelming show of support to the NAF over the passing of Flying Officer Arotile.