A storm of reactions by Nigerians has greeted the death of Tolulope Arotile, Nigeria’s First female combat helicopter pilot.
Naija News had reported earlier that the first Nigeria Air Force female combat pilot, Tolulope Arotile died at age 23 as a result of head injuries she sustained from an accident at the Nigerian Air Force base in Kaduna state, northern Nigeria.
The death of the Flying Officer was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday night by the Director of Public Relations and Information Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola.
This statement read, “It is with great sorrow that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) regretfully announces the unfortunate demise of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, who died today, 14 July 2020, as a result of head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at NAF Base Kaduna.
“Until her death, Flying Officer Arotile, who was commissioned into the NAF in September 2017 as a member of Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course 64, was the first ever female combat helicopter pilot in the Service. During her short but impactful stay in the Service, late Arotile, who hailed from Iffe in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, 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 Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on behalf of officers, airmen, airwomen and civilian staff of the NAF, commiserates with the family of late Flying Officer Arotile over this irreparable loss. We pray that the Almighty God grants her soul eternal rest,” the statement read.
Some hours after the news of the death of Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot, Nigerians have taken to the micro-blogging site, Twitter, to react to the news.
Naija News captured some of the reactions below…
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) July 15, 2020
Literally just scrolled through the news of Tolulope Arotile, Fahim Saleh and Jahreau Shephard’s deaths simultaneously on my timeline. It’s too much ?
— Ebuka Obi-Uchendu (@Ebuka) July 15, 2020
This is such a blow. Rest in peace Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile. May her family find strength to bear this. A bright light snuffed out too soon. pic.twitter.com/ARSxhkbyHo
— Brenda Mngu Uji (@brendauji) July 14, 2020
Rest In Peace Tolulope Arotile, Nigerian Air Force’s first female combat helicopter pilot. pic.twitter.com/E71J45fBN5
— Jackson Ude (@jacksonpbn) July 15, 2020
Rest in peace Tolulope Arotile, and Fahim Saleh. I pray God gives your families and friends the courage to bear the loss.
— Dr. Dípò Awójídé (@OgbeniDipo) July 15, 2020
We lost Nigeria's first female combat pilot to a motor accident in Kaduna. She was a bright star doing great exploits, full of passion n talented. Rip Tolulope Arotile, u did so much in the short time u lived. You will be greatly missed? pic.twitter.com/Gd8vLCm82j
— Dr Toolz (@toolzbabe) July 15, 2020
We have just lost one of our best, the death of flying officer Tolulope Arotile is a big hit on the entire Nation. May her soul rest in peace ? pic.twitter.com/qmwQKTu9tq
— Olúyẹmí Fásípè ?? (@YemieFASH) July 15, 2020
BREAKING: The first Nigeria Air Force female Helicopter pilot, Tolulope Arotile is dead.
She died in a road accident at NAF base Kaduna after sustaining head injuries.
She was instrumental in the fight against banditry and insurgency.
She was only 23 years old pic.twitter.com/3e7Sf4ZjqC
— the Morris Monye factor (@Morris_Monye) July 15, 2020
I woke up to the disturbing news of Fahim Saleh’s gruesome murder in NYC (CEO, Gokada) & the unfortunate death of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile (first ever female combat helicopter pilot in Nigeria) to a road traffic accident at NAF Base Kaduna.
May their souls Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/aWJMl9BEJW
— Gbemi Dennis™ (@GbemiDennis) July 15, 2020
RIP, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile.
Continue to fly among the stars, you lived a purposeful life, you achieved your dreams, you laid the path for other air combat women, your name is written in history. Air warrior!!!
Mehn..I am close to tears ???? pic.twitter.com/0TmeFj7QJu
— Dr. Guendouzi (The Cerebral Assassin) (@fimiletoks) July 15, 2020
Nigeria’s first ever female combat helicopter pilot in the history of Nigerian AirForce has died.
Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, died yesterday from head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident in Kaduna.
She was only 25 years old.
This is just terribly heartbreaking. pic.twitter.com/pRUdW7U3qM
— #OurFavOnlineDoc ? (@DrOlufunmilayo) July 15, 2020