Late Airforce female icon, Tolulope:
We suspect foulplay, wants thorough investigation, says family of late icon
By Suleiman Akanbi and Samuel Ogunsona
The family of late airforce combat female pilot, Tolulope Arotile has called for a detailed investigation on the death of their loved one. Tolulope 23 was the first female Nigerian combat helicopter pilot.
Speaking on TV monitored by Irohinoodua, her senior sister Mrs Omolabake Mrs. Damilola Adegboye
said the family was at a loss how she could have died at the airforce base in a road accident where the maximum any vehicle could speed is about 30km per hour.
She also said the family was surprised that the car who hit Tolulope was said to have had a huge dent even though Tolulope was merely 46 kilograme at the time of her death, making her extremely light in weight.
She said Tolulope was also fasting as Aa devout Christian at the time of her death.
Speaking on how she got the information if her death, she said “I got it online which is very disappointing as I was at the base earlier. I dropped her at the base myself. She insisted on going to laminate her certificates before going back to her quarters. We had done a lot of things that day and she got a call from one of her seniors to come back to the airforce base. Due to the weather, she was not able to resume work on Monday because her deployment letter was not ready until Wednesday. I dropped her at the base on Wednesday, 15th July,2020 at around 4:41pm. I left her there. I drove back home. The distance of her base to my house is roughly 30-45mins. I got home that day. I haven’t settled in for more than 10minutes, I got a call from her Fiancé that she has been in an accident. I went back to the base, I attempted so many times to see her but I was told nobody could get in. I went back home. Few moments later, I saw the post online that she was late. I called her colleagues at work. They told me she died around 9: 30pm – 10:00pm. The information was leaked online as the official statement about her date was released around 12am, Thursday 16th July, 2020.”
She said the father suspected fowlplay.
She said “Of course I suspect. Apart from my youngest sister, everyone attended Air force Secondary School, Kaduna, so we know where speeds bumps are. For anyone to speed on that road, it is either intentional or for a reason. I don’t know how but I believe the entire Air force will investigate thoroughly because Tolu was an asset to them. I believe there is foul play. They have arrested the boys that were driving the car, but I am not aware of any other information regarding the investigation.”
She said further “Well, the story I was told and according to the medical report I heard and what the people at the base kept saying, though there were different versions, was that she wasn’t even looking at those people when they were trying to reverse. She was backing them. While they were reversing to say hello to her was when she got hit. According to them, they claimed she was their school mate. I don’t think when you want to reverse; you will have to scare someone with that speed. Also, she was not on her phone as people claimed because she left her phone at home in the quarters that day. I even tried to convince her that day to even try to go back and get it but she declined. She has laminated her certificates because when I got back her belongings, the certificates have been laminated. She was just going back to her quarters when her friend saw her and mistakenly hit her while he was reversing. According to reports, the guys were not military people, one of them just have a family member in that place and had come to visit her when he saw Tolu. Tolu has been fasting for a while before that day and she has become very light weighted and dehydrated when the accident happened. The impact on the car was so dent that I don’t believe her body would have had that much impact on the car. The medical report claimed she had third injury and a few cuts on her body.”
On the side of her father, Mr Akintunde Arotile
“At 6pm, someone called me from Abuja that my daughter has been rushed to the intensive care unit of the specialist hospital of the Airforce base Hospital in Kaduna. I called her that day and she told me she wasn’t going out that she is just going to be with her elder sister.”
He said further “After several attempts to convince her colleagues to speak up, they finally told us our daughter was dead.”
He said further “Since she is a military person, I know it is the duty of the government to perform her burial rites. I just want them to invite us to do the ceremony and let us have the privilege to see her being laid to rest.
Interviewer: There have been speculations going around saying that you got a revelation from your pastor who predicted that she was going to die and that the family has been praying so hard before that day.”
He said furter “No, it is just rumour. I called her that morning and her mother called her later in the afternoon. We didn’t get any revelation.
It is not easy to cope with the loss of a child. Tolu is a special child from God. She is gifted with an high IQ ( Intelligent Quotient) and she even tries to improve her gift. Whatever she lays her hands on, she does it perfectly. She doesn’t go out except she needs to see her pastor. She only does three things: Sleep, go to work and pray. Tolu is in a special place with God.”
Mrs Olufunke Naomi Arotile, her mother said “I have five chidren and Tolulope is the fourth child. She is a prayer warrior. She has known God, and I thank God for gifting her to me. She didn’t promise she was going to leave so soon but I give God the glory. She was very prayerful and caring.”
She said Tolu will be 25 in December.
She said “I miss everything, especially her prayerful spirit. We asked her where she was going that day we called her. She told us she she wasn’t going anywhere as they had just finished their promotional exams and needs to rest.”