‘We’ll Miss You’, Buhari, Saraki, Bello, Others Mourn Female Combat Pilot, Arotile

‘We’ll Miss You’, Buhari, Saraki, Bello, Others Mourn Female Combat Pilot, Arotile

‘We’ll Miss You’, Buhari, Saraki, Bello, Others Mourn Female Combat Pilot, Arotile

By Augustine Akhilomen

President Muhammadu Buhari, former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar have extended their condolence messages to the Nigerian Navy over the death of Nigeria’s first female combatant helicopter pilot, Tolulope Arotile.

Recall that Thepledge.ng earlier reported the death of Tolulope, who died on Tuesday after sustaining a head injury in a ghastly road accident.

Buhari in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, saluted Arotile’s bravery in the field to protect the country from the 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.

“The President sympathises with government and people of Kogi State on the loss.

“President Buhari prays that the Almighty God will receive the soul of the departed, and comfort the family she left behind,” the statement read.

Saraki, via his official twitter handle on Wednesday, described her as a dedicated officer, who served her nation wholeheartedly.

“ I woke up to read the very sad news of the unfortunate passing away of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile – Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot.

“Flying Officer Arotile dedicated her life to the service of her nation and in so doing became a role model for millions of Nigerians on breaking glass ceilings. She will be missed.

“I commiserate with @NigAirForce, her family and friends. I pray the Almighty gives them the strength to bear this loss.”

Also, Gov Bello has described the death of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile as a big loss to the Nigerian Navy and Nigeria.

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.

“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.

“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.”

In the same vein, Abubakar, revealed that he’s heartbroken with the death of Tolulope.

In his message, Abubakar described Arotile as “a very intelligent, disciplined, confident and courageous young officer who added value wherever she served.”

“As a squadron pilot in Operation GAMA AIKI in Minna, Niger State, she flew her quota of anti-banditry combat missions to ensure a safer, more secured Nigeria.

“I recall meeting her at the Minna Airport, while on operational visit, after one of such missions and seeing her eagerness to contribute towards the restoration of lasting peace to the affected areas. Her death is a huge loss to the Nigerian Air Force family and indeed the entire Nation.

“On behalf officers, airmen, airwomen and civilian staff of the Nigerian Air Force, I once more condole with the family of late Flying Officer Arotile over this irreparable loss and sincerely pray that the Almighty God grants her soul eternal rest.”

The Pledge

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