Mr Akintunde Arotile, father of Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot, Tolulope, who passed away on Tuesday, has disclosed their last conversation before she died.
Arotile said he called his daughter on the phone on Tuesday at about 1:00pm on her return from an operation against bandits in Katsina State and the two of the had a several minutes chat.
He however, revealed that things took a different turn later in the day when he received a call from a person.
He said, “She told me that she will later go out to make some photocopies and I told her not to be long and to return home on time because she was staying with my first daughter in Kaduna.
“Around 5:30pm, somebody called me and asked if I had called her and I said yes. The person told me to call her again which I did, but there was no response. So, I called her colleagues and they were all crying on phone. I asked what happened, they were just crying.
“I called one of her bosses who told me that she was in the mortuary. I was shocked because said she was somebody I spoke with four hours earlier and by 5:00pm she was in the mortuary.”
The bereaved father further disclosed that he had to drive to Lokoja, Kogi State, from Abuja to inform his wife about the incident.
Recalling the early days of his late daughter, Mr Arotile said, “She has not just been brilliant but wonderful. She did all her education from kindergarten to nursery at the Air Force base and Nigeria Defence Academy, Kaduna.
“One day, when she was very small, she pointed to one small aircraft packed on the field and said one day she was going to fly that aircraft, and I said Amen.
“So, from that day she started working towards getting admission into the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna. She had a degree in Mathematics and became an Air Force Cadet.
“From there, she was sent on several courses abroad and became a pilot.
“I thank God that she was able to achieve her dreams as a baby before her death.”