By Megito Audu
Yoruba Leader and President of the Yoruba World Congress, Prof. Banji Akintoye, has expressed sadness and grief over the death, last Tuesdayay in Kaduna, of the country’s first female combat pilot, Flight Officer Tolulope Arotile.
“This loss is irreparable and the grief unbearable”, said Akintoye in a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday, 16 July, 2020.
In a statement by the Nigeria Air Force authorities, Combat Pilot Arotile was said to have been killed in a freak car accident at the Air Force Base, Kaduna.
“The YWC calls for a thorough and transparent investigation of the accident”, said Akintoye.
“This is so that we who are Tolulope’s people may have some peace in knowing what really happened, and also that useful lessons can be learnt that can help prevent a recurrence of such monumental waste of human and material resources.
“So much resources were expended on the training of such a highly talented Tolulope to make her the very first woman combat pilot and a high-calibre military personnel in Nigeria.
“So much hopes were pinned on her by family, friends, loved ones, and country.
“According to the statement by the Air Force authorities, Tolulope had contributed so much to the military efforts towards making Nigeria safe and great in her short life span and military service that losing her at this point is simply unimaginable.
“Accidents do happen but getting to the roots of the circumstances of such accidents and putting measures in place to prevent a recurrence will serve the interests of all.
“As her people, we commiserate with her immediate family, friends and loved ones, praying and believing God to comfort and strengthen them all in these trying moments.
“We pray that Tolulope’s soul may rest in peace.”
“And may we never suffer this kind of loss again”, the statement concluded.