Good day, good people of Nigeria and welcome to this edition of our Rebrand Nigeria Champions Series dedicated to our fallen heroine, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, who is being buried today.

Nigerians all over the world are mourning the loss of our country’s first female combat helicopter pilot, Tolulope Aritole, who died in a road accident.

As she is being laid to rest today, we at the Ugwumba Center for Leadership Development in Africa are celebrating this heroine of our time as our Rebrand Nigeria Champion.

In October 2019, Tolulope made history when she became Nigeria’s first ever female combat helicopter pilot following her commissioning into the Nigeria Air Force as a member of Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course 64 in September 2019.

As a combat helicopter pilot, she contributed immensely towards riding the North Central States of armed bandits and other criminal elements by flying several combat missions under Operation Gama Aiki in Minna, Niger State.

She was born on December 13, 1995 to the family of Akintunde Arotile in Kaduna and attended the Air Force Primary School, Kaduna, from 2000 to 2005. She then proceeded to the Air Force Secondary School, Kaduna from 2006 to 2011 and thereafter gained admission into the Nigerian Defense Academy, Kaduna, as a member of the 64 Regular Course on September 22, 2012.

Tolulope was commissioned into the Nigerian Air Force as a pilot officer on the 16th of September, 2017 and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the Nigerian Defence Academy. She was winged as the first female combat helicopter pilot in the Nigerian Air Force on October 15, 2019 (together with the first ever female fighter pilot, Kafayat Sank) after completing her flying training in South Africa.

Barely two years in her career, Tolulope had acquired 460 hours of flight in helicopter which was an outstanding performance for a combat pilot. Her bravery in the fight against terrorism before her sudden death received praises from President Muhammadu Buhari.

Tolulope’s life may have been very brief but she was a great patriot, who contributed her skills and bravery in the fight against insecurity in Nigeria.

The people of Nigeria deeply mourn the loss of this Champion who died from head injuries, which she sustained in a road traffic accident at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna, when she was inadvertently hit by the reversing car of her excited former school mate.

Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile lives on and today at the #UgwumbaLeadershipCenter, we celebrate her as our #RebrandNigeriaChampion!

Hi Tolu, may your young and gentle soul rest on with the Lord!
The Rebrand Nigeria Campaign is powered by the Ugwumba Center for Leadership Development in Africa.


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