Akintunde Arotile, the daddy of the primary Nigerian feminine fight pilot, Tolulope, on this interview with GBENGA ODOGUN, says Tolulope from childhood deliberate to be a pilot
Inform us briefly about your self.
I’m Engineer Akintude Arotile. I labored with the Transmission Firm of Nigeria. I retired final 12 months as an influence engineer.
It’s essential to have been devastated by the lack of your daughter.
(Cuts in) That’s an understatement. From day one, she had not simply been good, but additionally great. I used to be in Kaduna. She had all her training on the Air Power Base and the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna.
In the future, when she was very small, she pointed to 1 small plane, parked on a discipline and stated, “Dad, someday I’m going to fly that plane” and I stated amen. So from that day, she began working in the direction of that.
She received admission to the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna. She had a Bachelor’s diploma in Arithmetic. She grew to become an Air drive cadet. She was despatched on a number of programs overseas and have become a pilot. I simply thank God that she was in a position to obtain her desires as a child earlier than her demise.
What was her place within the household?
She was quantity 4.
She has been described as an award-winning pilot and actually the primary within the nation to turn out to be a feminine fight pilot.
Proper from day one, she had been very clever. Generally, I questioned what sort of IQ she had. She additionally mixed intelligence with arduous work.
In truth, for those who had been right here when her bosses from Enugu got here, you’ll suppose she was their daughter; the best way they had been eulogising her. They had been happy with her achievements.
When was your final encounter together with her?
Simply yesterday, at about 1pm, I known as her as a result of she simply got here again from an operation towards the bandits in Katsina. They gave them one week to relaxation and so she was sleeping and she or he informed me she was in mattress resting.
She stated she would later exit to make some photocopies and I informed her to not keep lengthy and to return residence on time as a result of she was staying with my first daughter in Kaduna. Round 5.30 pm, someone known as me and requested if I had known as her and I stated sure. Then the particular person informed me to name her which I did, however there no response.
So, I known as her colleagues. They had been all crying on the telephone. I requested what occurred, however they had been simply crying. I known as certainly one of her bosses who informed me that she was within the mortuary and I stated Ha! Anyone I spoke with 4 hours in the past and by 5 pm she was within the mortuary. I needed to drive to Lokoja from Abuja to allow me to tell her mom bodily as a result of I couldn’t break such information on the telephone.
Once I received there, she had gone to the prayer mountain. She got here again at 8.30pm and I informed her what I heard, however had not confirmed.
What had been the reactions of the Air Power authority because the incident occurred?
I have to say that I’m actually impressed by the outpouring of sympathy and help. There have been a number of visits from her bosses from everywhere in the nation, together with right here in Lokoja, Abuja, Kaduna, and Enugu. The help has been overwhelming.
They’ve even promised to allow us to select the place to bury her, however her commandant urged that she needs to be buried on the Nationwide Cemetery, Abuja due to the variety of individuals that can attend the funeral and because of the feat she achieved as the primary feminine fight pilot in Nigeria.