The family of Tolulope Arotile, the first female combat helicopter pilot of the Nigeria Air Force (NAF), has demanded a probe on her death.
In an interview with PUNCH, Damilola Adegboye, her immediate elder sister, said the family is not convinced with NAF’s explanation that she died in a freak accident.
Arotile was said to have died when a former classmate knocked her down while she was running to great her at the Kaduna air force base.
Adegboye, however, said the family is demanding a thorough investigation into the late officer’s death.
“We in the family are not convinced that Tolu can just die like that in a freak accident,” she was quoted as saying.
“I know that the military is well trained in the art of investigation, we want them to carry out a thorough investigation that can convince us beyond all doubts that the incident that led to her death was real.”
She recalled that they were together when Arotile received a call from someone that is likely a senior colleague and reluctantly left for the base as instructed.
“A call came into her phone which she picked but from the way they spoke, I knew the caller must be a senior officer calling her to come to Air force base. She felt reluctant and I offered to drop her off,” she said.
“One hour later, I read online that something serious had happened to her. I couldn’t believe that somebody I just dropped off is dead.”
Also speaking, the mother of Arotile went down memory lane about how she gave birth to her describing her as a special child adding that fasting and prayer was her hobby.
Meanwhile the Kogi State House of Assembly has called on the state government to immortalise her.The call was contained in a motion moved by the member representing Ijumu Constituency, Kilani Olumo, at plenary on Thursday.
Olumo said the deceased pilot had contributed her quota to the ongoing fight against insecurity in the country.
He noted that her death is painful and a great loss to the state, pointing out that immortalising her is a reward for her hard work and dedication to the protection of the nation’s territorial integrity.
Seconding the motion, the member representing Lokoja One Constituency, Umar Tenimu described the motion as timely in view of the efforts of the late combat pilot to the nation’s security efforts.
The Speaker, Matthew Kolawole, in his ruling, called on the state government to urgently immortalise the young icon.
A minute silence was observed in honour of the late first female combatant helicopter pilot.