Buhari mourns First Female Flying Officer, Arotile


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President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday lamented with deep pain the untimely death of Nigeria’s first flying officer, Toluope Arotile.

Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, the first-ever and only female combat helicopter pilot in the Nigerian Air Force died in Kaduna on Tuesday.

The tragic incident occurred after she sustained head injuries from a road accident at NAF Base Kaduna.

The President in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina condoled with the family of the departed flying officer who he described as a promising officer “whose short stay on earth impacted greatly on the nation, especially in peace and security”.

According to Adesina, the President salutes Arotile’s bravery in the field to protect the country from 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 manoeuvring combat helicopters, which he had physically witnessed with pride”.

While sympathizing with the government and people of Kogi State on the loss, the president prayed the Almighty God to receive the soul of the departed, and comfort the family she left behind.

Arotile was decorated by Sadique Abubakar, chief of air staff, less than one year before she died.

According to NAF, during her short but impactful stay in the Service, late Arotile, 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.

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