In News by Oluwaseun Samuel on the 16th, July, 2020

Father Of Nigeria’s First Feminine Fight Helicopter Pilot Reveals His Final Dialog With Her Earlier than She Died

Father Of Nigeria's First Female Combat Helicopter Pilot Reveals His Last Conversation With Her Before She Died

Tolulope Arotile

Akintunde Arotile, the daddy of the primary Nigerian feminine fight pilot, Tolulope, on this interview with GBENGA ODOGUN, says Tolulope from childhood deliberate to be a pilot

Inform us briefly about your self.

I’m Engineer Akintude Arotile. I labored with the Transmission Firm of Nigeria. I retired final yr as an influence engineer.

You could have been devastated by the lack of your daughter.

(Cuts in)  That’s an understatement. From day one, she had not simply been good, but additionally great.  I used to be in Kaduna. She had all her schooling on the Air Pressure Base and the Nigerian Defence  Academy, Kaduna. At some point,  when she was very small, she pointed to 1 small plane, parked on a discipline and stated, “Dad, someday I’m going to fly that plane” and I stated amen. So from that day, she began working in the direction of that. She acquired admission to the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna. She had a Bachelor’s diploma in Arithmetic. She turned an Air drive cadet. She was despatched on a number of programs overseas and have become a pilot. I simply thank God that she was capable of obtain her goals as a child earlier than her demise.

What was her place within the household?

She was quantity 4.

She has been described as an award-winning pilot and in reality the primary within the nation to grow to be a feminine fight pilot.

Proper from day one,  she had been very clever. Generally, I questioned what sort of IQ she had. She additionally mixed intelligence with laborious work.

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Actually, should you had been right here when her bosses from Enugu got here, you would suppose she was their daughter; the way in which they have been eulogising her. They have been pleased with her achievements.

When was your final encounter along with her?

Simply yesterday, at about 1pm, I referred to as her as a result of she simply got here again from an operation towards the bandits in Katsina. They gave them one week to relaxation and so she was sleeping and he or she instructed me she was in mattress resting. She stated she would later exit to make some photocopies and I instructed her to not keep lengthy and to return residence on time as a result of she was staying with my first daughter in Kaduna. Round  5.30 pm, any individual referred to as me and requested if I had referred to as her and I stated sure. Then the particular person instructed me to name her which I did, however there no response. So,  I referred to as her colleagues. They have been all crying on the cellphone.  I requested what occurred, however they have been simply crying.  I  referred to as certainly one of her bosses who instructed me that she was within the mortuary and I stated Ha! Someone I spoke with 4 hours in the past and by 5 pm she was within the mortuary. I needed to drive to Lokoja from Abuja to allow me to tell her mom bodily as a result of I couldn’t break such information on the cellphone. After I acquired there,  she had gone to the prayer mountain. She got here again at eight.30pm and I instructed her what I heard,  however had not confirmed.

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What had been the reactions of the Air Pressure authority because the incident occurred?

I have to say that I’m actually impressed by the outpouring of sympathy and help. There have been a number of visits from her bosses from all over the nation, together with right here in Lokoja, Abuja, Kaduna, and Enugu. The help has been overwhelming. They’ve even promised to allow us to select the place to bury her, however her commandant  urged that she ought to be buried on the Nationwide Cemetery, Abuja due to the variety of individuals that can attend the funeral and because of the feat she achieved as the primary feminine fight pilot in Nigeria.

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Supply: The PUNCH

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