Nigeria’s first female helicopter combat pilot, Tolulope Arotile, has been laid to rest at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja.
Arotile died on July 14 in Kaduna and was buried in strict compliance with COVID-19 guidelines, Nigerian Air Force spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said.
She reportedly died from severe injuries following a road traffic accident at the NAF base in Kaduna, the Air Force has said.
She was reportedly knocked down by a former secondary school classmate who, in the process of reversing his car to give her a lift knocked down the deceased.
President Muhammadu Buhari and other national leaders paid homage to the young military star after her demise and the Air Force promised she would be buried with full military honours.
Eight months before her death, she was commissioned to be Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot.
The burial was restricted to a few guests, due to the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions put in place to stem the spread of the virus.
The burial had in attendance friends, family, and colleagues excluding the deceased parent by reason of tradition.
Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, were also sighted at the ceremony.
Other top officials present at the ceremony were the Minister of Women Affairs, Paulen Tallen, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar Farouq, and the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali.
Uninvited guests including unaccredited journalists were politely turned back at the entrance to the cemetery as only vehicles of senior officers and immediate family members of the deceased are allowed to drive in.
Meanwhile, the Senate has observed a minute of silence in honour of Arotile.
The Red Chamber is also asking the Airforce to erect a monument in her honour.
The Senate’s resolution was in response to a motion moved by Senator Smart Adeyemi, a Kogi state lawmaker.
Arotile was an indigene of Kogi state.
Another federal lawmaker from Kogi state, Senator Jibrin Isah, also wants the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of her death