Kogi Assembly wants government to immortalise first female combatant helicopter pilot

The Kogi State House of Assembly has passed a bill changing the name of the state owned university to Prince Abubakar Audu University, Ayingba.

Kogi House of Assembly on Thursday called on the State Government to immortalise the first female Combatant Helicopter Pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, who died on Tuesday in Kaduna.

The call is indicated in a resolution of the House following the adoption of an oral motion moved by Mr Kilani Olumo, (APC-Ijumu) at Plenary.

Presenting the motion, Olumo said that the deceased pilot who died at the age of 24 years had contributed her quota to the on-going fight against insecurity, crime and criminality in the country in her short but eventful lifespan.

The legislator noted that her death was painful, describing it as a great loss to the country and Kogi.

Oluomo said that immortalising the late pilot should be seen from the perspective of reward for hard work and dedication to the protection of the nation’s territorial integrity as well as encouragement for the younger generation to embrace hard work.

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The lawmaker prayed to God to grant the family and Nigeria Air Force and the state, the grace to bear the loss.

Alhaji Isah Umar Tenimu (APC-Lokoja I), while seconding the motion, described it as timely in view of the efforts of the late Pilot to the nation’s security and territorial integrity.

Speaker of the House Matthew Kolawole, in his ruling urged the state government to urgently immortalise the young icon in view of her immense contributions to the security of the nation.

The house observed a minute silence in honour of the first Nigerian female combatant helicopter pilot, an indigene of Ijumu Local Government Area of the state.

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It would be recalled that Tolulope Arotile, 24, a graduate of Mathematics from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna; had her professional training in South Africa, qualified as a Helicopter Bomber Officer and was winged into the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in 2019.

She was the first female Nigerian to be so decorated and was on a one week rest after returning from an operation against bandits in Katsina when she died in an accident in Kaduna.

Her father, Mr Akintunde Arotile, said that his daughter was not only of high Intelligence Quotient (IQ) but simply “wonderful” adding, “I just thank God that she was able to achieve her dreams as a baby, to fly an aircraft one day.”

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