Akintude Arotile, the father of the late Tolulope Arotile, the first female combat helicopter pilot of the Nigerian Air Force, has narrated what he said to her few hours before she died.
Arotile who spoke with newsmen yesterday said being devastated “is an understatement,”.
He recalled that his late daughter had aspired to have an air service career as a child.
The late NAF officer died in a freak accident at the Kaduna air force base on Tuesday.
It was alleged that a former classmate of hers had unknowingly knocked her down during which she sustained head injuries.
Arotile recalled how he had told his daughter to “return home on time” when he spoke with her earlier, not knowing she was never going to return home.
Just yesterday,at about 1 pm, I called her because she just came back from an operation against the bandits in Katsina (and) they gave them one week to rest,” he said.
He said she said she was in her bed resting, adding that she would go out to later to make some photocopies.
He said he told her not to be long and to return home on time because she was staying with his first daughter in Kaduna.
“Around 5:30 pm, somebody called me and asked if I had called her today and I said yes. Then the person told me to call her which I did, but no response, so I called her colleagues, and they were all crying on phone.
He said when they picked their calls, they were just crying, so he called one of their bosses, who told him that she was in the mortuary around 5pm.
He said Tolulope always dreamt about flying an aircraft, saying “she had not just been brilliant but wonderful.”
“One day when she was very small, she pointed to one small aircraft packed on the field and said, ‘dad, one day, I am going to fly that aircraft’ and I said Amen,” he recalled, adding that she started working towards actualising the dream from that day.
“Right from day one she had been very very intelligent. Sometimes, I wonder what type of IQ she had, she also combined intelligence with hard-work. I just thank God that she was able to achieve her dreams as a baby before her death,” Arotile said