ThebSenate Thursday condoled with the family of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile who died on Tuesday, 14th July 2020 in a freak accident at the Nigerian Air Force Base, Kaduna at the age of 24.
The Senate has also condoled with the Nigerian Air Force, the Governor, His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello and the people of Kogi State following her demise.
Also, the Upper Chamber observed a minute of silence in honour of late Arotile.
Resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a motion titled, “Demise of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile” and sponsored by Senator Smar Adeyemi, Kogi West.
In his presentation, Senator Adeyemi said that “The Senate: Notes with grief the death of Flying Officer, Tolulope Arotile on Tuesday, 14th July, 2020 in a freak accident at the Nigerian Air Force Base, Kaduna at the age of 24;
“Notes that Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile was winged as Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot at the Nigerian Air Force headquarters, Abuja on 15 October 2019, after completing her flying training in South Africa.
Flying Officer Arotile who hailed from Ife in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, was born on 13th December 1995 to the family of Mr and Mrs Akintunde Arotile in Kaduna. She attended Air Force Primary School, Kaduna from 2006-2011 and in September 2012, gained admission into the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, where she was a member of 64 Regular Course;
“Recalls that Flying Officer Arotile who was commissioned into the Nigerian Air Force as a Pilot Officer on 16 September 2017, holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the Nigerian Defence Academy.”
According to him, the Senate further “recalls also that Flying Officer Arotile underwent tactical flying training on the Augusta 109 Power Attack Helicopter in Italy, and holds a commercial pilots’ licence;
“Recalls further that on 6 February 2020, she introduced the Air Force’s newly-acquired Augusta 109 Power Attack Helicopter to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari during the induction ceremony at the Eagle Square, Abuja;
“Notes that she served the nation as a Squadron Pilot at the 405 Helicopter Combat Training Group, Enugu, attached to the Air Component of Operation GAMA AIKI in Minna, Niger State; had recently completed her Promotion Examination and was awaiting her next deployment;
“Notes also that as a participant in the GAMA AIKI in Niger State, she flew her quota of anti-banditry combat missions to ensure a safer and more secured Nigeria and that before her untimely death, she made significant and outstanding contributions to the war against terrorism, armed banditry and other forms of criminality in the country;
“Aware that Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile in her own words: “I joined the military simply out of passion for it. Being a military personnel has been a long time ambition, the carriage and what it stands for are simply exceptional;
“Aware also that Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile possessed deft skills as a combat helicopter pilot and truly earned the accolades from the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar, who described her as “ a very intelligent, disciplined, confident and courageous young officer who added value wherever she served”; and
“Convinced that the late Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, was a shining young star in Nigeria’s Air Force combat flying missions and her sad demise has reduced the ranks the Air Force’s female pilots to six, thus she deserves to be memorialized in Nigeria’s history.”