Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot Tolulope Arotile who was killed in a car accident on Tuesday has thrown the country into mourning.
The Nigerian air force said in a statement that the 24-year old died of head injuries sustained after a former school friend accidentally reversed into her while she was trying to greet her.
President Muhammadu Buhari said he received the news with “deep pain” and sent condolences to her family and colleagues.
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The President saluted Arotile’s bravery in the field to protect the country from onslaught of bandits and terrorists and assured 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 maneuvering combat helicopters, which he had physically witnessed with pride, and sympathized with government and people of Kogi State on the loss.
The President of the Nigerian Senate, Ahmad Lawan, also expressed shock and sadness at the tragic news of the death of Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot, Tolulope Arotile.
Lawan said despite her brief service, the deceased flying officer, 24, left indelible footprints as a dedicated officer and Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot.
The Senate President noted the attestation of the Nigeria Airforce that Arotile flew several combat missions and made remarkable contributions to the military efforts against banditry and other criminal activities particularly in the North Central states.
Lawan said Arotile was a role model for young women and the Nigerian youths in general with her focus and dedication to service and calling.
Lawan condoled with the family of the late Flying Officer, the Chief of the Air Staff, her officer colleagues, other airmen and airwomen.
The Senate President also commiserated with the government and people of Kogi State over the loss and prayed for her soul to rest in perfect peace.