Governor Yahaya Bello has mourned the late Flying Officer, Tolulope Arotile, describing it as shocking and devastating.
Arotile who was Nigeria’s first-ever Combat Helicopter Pilot died on Tuesday in an accident in Kaduna.
In a condolence message by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed, Bello said the death is a national disaster, saying she was a fantastic aviator.
It was with great sorrow and shock that I received the news about the passing of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, the first female combat Helicopter Pilot in the history of the Nigerian Airforce,” the statement added.
“Late Flying Officer Arotile brought the country to a standstill on the 15th of October 2019 when she was decorated as the first female combat Helicopter Pilot.
“This was a huge honour to her family and state, the nation, and the entire women in the country and beyond.”
Governor Bello said the late Arotile combined professionalism and patriotism in the discharge of her duties and was instrumental to Nigeria’s fight against banditry and other criminal activities especially in the North Central region.
“We are devastated by the tragic death of this young promising lady who took bravery to the next level, demystified prejudicial stereotype and flew her parents, state and nation high in honour and professionalism,” he added.
Governor stated that “at the age of 23, late Arotile has woven her own story into the Nigerian Folklore as a patriot who died in defence of her nation.
“On behalf of the state, I commiserate with the family of late Flying Officer Arotile over this irreparable loss and I pray that the Almighty God grants her soul eternal rest, She will be sorely missed.”