Two months after the death of first female combat pilot, Tolulope Arotile, Nigerian Air Force has renamed newly remodelled pilots Crew Room at the 115 Special Operations Group (115 SOG) Port Harcourt, Rivers State after the late officer.
The Nigerian Air Force stated that the decision was reached to further inspire young girls in the country to study, work hard and pursue their dreams and legitimate aspirations with pride and honour.
It would be recalled that Arotile was knocked down and killed by a vehicle driven by Nehemiah Adejor, who was her secondary school mate on July 14, at the Nigerian Air Force Base, Kaduna.
Speaking at the commissioning of the room, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said that the move was in appreciation to the deceased for her invaluable contributions to the fight against armed banditry and other criminal activities in the country.
In a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday Air Force spokesman, Ibikunle Daramola, the Air force boss stated that immortalizing the former officer was in fulfilment of the Force’s promise to personnel that their sacrifices would never be in vain and that the policy had been sustained through the immortalization of personnel who paid the supreme price in service to the country.
The CAS, who expressed excitement after seeing some of her colleagues at the commissioning to celebrate her memory, noted that late Arotile lives on in the hearts of those coming after her.
“It is gratifying to note that, since late Tolulope’s demise, many young Nigerian girls have indicated their interest to join the NAF. Besides, no fewer than 12 other female officers, who have undoubtedly been motivated by her inspirational life and the unprecedented and exemplary contributions by other female and male pilots, are currently undergoing flying training, both within and outside the Country, to become NAF pilots”, he added.
Explaining the importance of the room, Abubakar stressed that the facility was provided to ensure a conducive environment which would enable pilots to more effectively plan and execute assigned missions.
According to him, an Operations briefing room, computer room/library, pilots’ life-support room and lounge as well as a kitchen, dining room, changing room for pilots on standby and several rest rooms.
In his welcome address, the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Tactical Air Command (TAC), Air Vice Marshal Olusegun Philip, who commended the President Muhammadu Buhari and Abubakar for the gesture, assured that the personnel were to the fight against terrorism, banditry and illegal oil bunkering in the country.