GOVERNORS have commiserated with the family of the late first female combat helicopter pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, who her employer, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), claimed died from an auto accident.
In a statement on Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF’s) spokesman Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo quoted the forum’s Chairman and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi as lamenting that Tolulope’s life was cut in its prime, at a time she had so much to contribute to uplift her country.
The statement reads: “The Nigeria Governors’ Forum expresses its deepest sorrow at the sudden and tragic death of Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, who was killed in a ghastly motor accident in Kaduna State.
“The Chairman of the forum, Dr Fayemi said the late Tolulope was a brilliant and promising officer who had demonstrated a high sense of loyalty, patriotism and commitment to duty to Nigeria, particularly in maintaining peace and security in the country.
“The NGF regrets that Tolulole’s life was cut in its prime and at a time she had so much to contribute to uplift her country.
“Her demise is not only the family’s loss but that of the Nigeria Air Force, the government and people of Kogi State and the entire country.
“The governors pray for the repose of her young soul while also praying that God gives her family and loved ones the strength to bear the loss.”
Also, Damilola Adegboye, the elder sister to the late Tolulope yesterday called for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding her sister’s death.
Adegboye said the family was devastated by Tolulope’s death, expressing reservation on “how an ordinary reversing (of a car) could kill a person, just like that”.
She said: “We, in the family, are not convinced that Tolu can just die like that in a freak accident. I know that the military is well trained in the art of investigation; we want them to carry out a thorough investigation that can convince us beyond all doubts that the incident that led to her death was real.
“On the day of the incident, Tolu and I were in the room where she was sleeping.
“A call came in to her phone, which she picked. But from the way they spoke, I knew that the caller must be a senior officer calling her to come to the Air Force base. She felt reluctant and I offered to drop her off.
“One hour later, I saw online that something serious has happened to her. I couldn’t believe that somebody I just dropped off was dead.”
Northern governors, through their chairman and Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong, also commiserated with the Arotile family over Tolulope’s death.