Untold Tales Behind the Death of Nigeria’s First Female Combat Pilot

Seeing the youth in the country taking charge and being in control of what they do is our greatest wish. Just as the saying goes; the youth are the leaders of tomorrow, and if given the opportunity, are ready and willing to explore in all ramification.

Tolulope Arotile made this possible, she proved to the entire country that the youths are indeed tomorrows leaders and as such should be given a chance to excel. She made a name and broke the record of being Nigeria’s first female combat pilot.

Late Miss Tolulope Arotile First Nigerian Female Air Marshal

Born into the family of Mr. and Mrs. Akintunde Arotile on the 13th of December 1995, in Kaduna state, Nigeria. Tolulope hails from Ijumu local government area of Kogi State Nigeria.

Tolulope spent all of her academic years in the military school, starting from her nursery, primary down to secondary school education at Air Force secondary school and later joined the army cadet.

on the 22nd of September 2012, she got admission into the Nigerian Defense Academy, where she bagged her bachelor of science degree in mathematics and was taken abroad for series of tactical pilot flight training, which she did perfectly well and was given her commercial pilot license.

The 24 years old pilot got commissioned into the Nigerian air force in September 2017 as a member of the Nigerian defense academy regular course 64. She got decorated by the Nigerian air force as the first female pilot breaking the record of being the first female to pilot ever recorded in the Nigeria Air Force 55years in service.

Late Miss Tolulope Arotile and the minister of women affair Mrs. Pauline Tallen

Miss Tolu Arotile died on the 14th of July 2020, in a road traffic accident, at the Nigerian air force base in Kaduna, as she was reportedly hit by one of her air force secondary school classmate who was really excited at seeing her and was trying to greet her. The unnamed classmate was said to have been reversing the car when it hit Arotile as she fell and sustained injuries on her head that led to her death.

this was made known to the general public, by the Nigerian Air Force on their official twitter page, announcing their huge loss of a great and selfless air marshal.

Her death was a huge shook, not just to her family but to the entire country. Her father Mr. Akintunde Arotile, in an exclusive interview spoke on his last conversation with his daughter Tolu saying that he spoke with her five hours before her demise.

“We spoke’ “Around 9pm, I called her and she said she was fine and no problem. “Then, yesterday (Tuesday), I called her at about 1 pm, she said she was going out to the base to make a photocopy and I told her she must go back home on time because she was staying with my first daughter in Kaduna. “Around 5.30 pm, somebody called me on phone, asking if I had called Tolu, and I said Tolu was in Kaduna. “The person then insisted I call her again. “I then called her line, no response, there, I called her colleagues. “I heard all of them crying on the phone. “I asked what was wrong with Tolu and one of her friends then told me that Tolu lifeless body was in the mortuary. “I was shocked that somebody I spoke to five hours ago, only to be told that she is in the mortuary,” he said.  

According to Mr Akintunde, who was a former assistant general manager and power engineer at the transmission company of Nigeria revealed that his daughter Tolu has always been special and unique, flying an aircraft has always been her childhood dream. He recalled the day she pointed at an aircraft and telling him that one day she was going to fly it and he said amen to that.

Mr Akintunde couldn’t disclose the date of Tolus burial saying it will be determined by the air force,

“I was given an option of whether the burial should take place in Lokoja or Abuja. “I preferred Lokoja, but it is like her ogas are saying the Chief of Air Staff said he would prefer the National Cemetery in Abuja because the senior officers and dignitaries would want to be there,”

He went on to give account of all her travels and their memories as he thanked God almighty that his daughter was able to achieve her childhood dream of becoming a pilot before the cold hands of death took her away.

Prior to her death, flying officer Tolulope Arotile was said to have contributed well during her time of service as the chief of air staff of the Nigeria Air Force, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar took to his twitter to drop his condolence message as he recalls his first ever encounter with late miss Tolu Arotile.

Late Miss Tolulope Arotile With Chief Of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar


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