The House of Representatives has expressed sadness over the sudden demise of Nigeria’s first-ever female helicopter combat pilot, Tolulope Arotile.
Chairman, House Committee on Air Force, Mr. Shehu Koko described Arotile as a heroine whose contribution in the war against terrorism and other criminal elements in the country cannot be wished away easily.
According to Shehu Koko, Arotile was a warm and devoted young woman who worked tirelessly as a fighter pilot, forging new ground for women in Nigeria who would be sorely missed though she left her footprints in the sands of time.
The Committee chief thereby prayed the Almighty God to grant Tolulope Arotile’s soul eternal rest, and also the immediate family, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique, Airmen and Airwomen of the service the fortitude to bear the loss.
The Kogi born fighter pilot died as a result of head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at NAF Base in Kaduna State.
Arotile died barely a year after she was winged as a combat helicopter pilot in the Air Force following the completion of her course in South Africa.
She 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.
The deceased was commissioned into the NAF in September 2017 as a member of Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course 64 and later became the first-ever female combat helicopter pilot in the service in Nigeria.