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Buhari mourns death of Nigeria’s first female combat pilot, Tolulope Arotile

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday expressed shock over the passing of Flying Officer, Tolulope Arotile, condoling with the deceased’s family.

Arotile was the first female combat helicopter pilot in the Nigerian Air Force.

The president also 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.

Buhari commiserated 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.

The President, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina also sympathised with government and people of Kogi State on the loss.

Arotile who died July 14 as a result of head injuries sustained from a road traffic accident at NAF Base Kaduna.‬

Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information, made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

“It is with great sorrow that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) regretfully announces the unfortunate demise of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, who died on July 14, 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 hails from Iffe in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, contributed significantly to the efforts to rid the North Central States of 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.

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