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…CALLS ON THE PUBLIC TO STOP POLITICISING HER DEATH, ALLOW HER FAMILY AND LOVED ONES TO MOURN HER IN PEACE.
The Nigeria Air force said the unfortunate incident that led to the death of Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, the NAF’s first female combat helicopter pilot was as a result of head injury from a car accident.
This was made known few hours ago by the NAF Director of Public Relation and Information,Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola in a release after a preliminary investigation.
The sad event reported caused by a reversing vehicle driven by her friends.The release said,”she was returning from the Mammy Market at about 4.30pm that 3 of her former schoolmates at the Air Force Secondary School (now Air Force Comprehensive School) Kaduna; Mr Nehemiah Adejoh, Mr Igbekele Folorunsho and Mr Festus Gbayegun, drove past her in a Kia Sorento SUV, with Registration Number AZ 478 MKA. It is noteworthy that Messrs Adejoh, Folorunsho and Gbayegun are all civilians who live outside NAF Base Kaduna, but were on their way to visit one Mrs Chioma Ugwu, wife of Squadron Leader Chukwuemeka Ugwu, who lives at Ekagbo Quarters on the Base.
Upon recognising their schoolmate, Arotile, after passing her, Mr Adejoh, who was driving, reversed the vehicle, ostensibly in an attempt to quickly meet up with the Deceased, who was walking in the opposite direction. In the process, the vehicle struck Flying Officer Arotile from the rear, knocking her down with significant force and causing her to hit her head on the pavement. The vehicle then ran over parts of her body as it veered off the road beyond the kerb and onto the pavement, causing her further injuries.”
The release also added that,”Flying Officer Arotile was subsequently rushed to the 461 NAF Hospital Kaduna for treatment, while Mr Folorunsho (one of the occupants of the vehicle) who is also an Accident & Emergency Nurse at the St Gerard Catholic Hospital Kaduna, administered First Aid.
Flying Officer Arotile was confirmed dead by the On-Call Doctor at the 461 NAF Hospital at about 4.45pm on 14 July 2020, as a result of the head injuries.”
The NAF authority said will not join issues with any individuals or groups regarding the spurious allegations of ‘foul play’ espoused in some quarters.
Air Commodore Daramola said “consequently, it is ludicrous for anyone to even remotely insinuate malevolent intent on the part of the Service against one of its most prized assets.”
He said it is extremely sad and disheartening that, rather than allow the Arotile Family and the Nigerian Air Force to grieve for her dearly departed Tolulope in peace, many have chosen to politicize her death, while others are using the incident to push meritless, misguided ethnic and religious agendas.
The NAF authority have released the friends of the deceased in the car that led to her death to the police authority after the conclusion of preliminary investigation.