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Update: Nigeria’s First Female Fighter Pilot Tolulope Arotile Laid to Rest

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The remains of Tolulope Arotile, the first female fighter pilot in Nigeria has been committed to mother earth on Thursday 23rd July, 2020 at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja.

Recalled the deceased was knocked down by a reversing car of her ex classmate in Kaduna and died as a result of head injury as twitted by NAF some weeks ago. Investigation report by the NAF revealed that the said classmate, Nehemiah Adejo was without a drivers licence.

The funeral was attended by the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique, General Abayomi Olonisakin, House Committee Chairman on Air Force, Bala Ibn Na’allah, Governor Yahaya Bello the executive Governor of Kogi state and his wife, and the deceased family members.

The Chief of Air staff, Abubakar Sadique in a speech at the burial said the deceased was a national heroine who made impact in the NAF and the fight against anti – banditry operations in the North – Central and North – Western region of the country.

Mrs Damilola Arotile, mother of the deceased, expressed her gratitude to God for the life of her daughter and also appreciated the NAF for helping Tolulope achieve her childhood dream of flying an air craft through the expert trainings she received.

Others present at the funeral are the Chief of Army staff Tukur Buratai, Mrs Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Sadiya Umar Farouq alongside other members of the House of Representatives.

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Similarly, the Director Chaplaincy, NAF, Group Captain Dogo Bari Gani said in his address that Arotile took on the challenge to fight from the air seeing the evil bedeviling the country. He further asked the NAF authourities to create an atmosphere for other fighters to take over from where Arotile stopped.

In another development, the former Nigerian President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan also commiserated with the family and colleagues of the deceased. In a statement released 23rd July, 2020, Jonathan expressed his sadness over the demise of Arotile and lauded her dedication and gallantry, describing her as a brave patriot.

As a tradition in the military, a 2 – gun salute was rendered in her honour while Abubakar, Magashi, Olonisakin, Farouq, Tallen, a representative of the deceased classmate and the mother of the deceased performed the wreath laying ceremony.  May her soul rest in peace!

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