Late Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, who was the first-ever female combat helicopter pilot in Nigeria, may have been murdered.
In a statement released on Tuesday and signed by its officials, Captain Abigo Oritsebugbemi (rtd) and its Middle Belt Coordinator, Akeem Meduna, the O’odua Koya, (AOKOYA) asked the International community to investigate her death. The group however called for an independent enquiry.
“We have very strong reasons to assume that Tolulope Arotile was murdered. We are aware she had altercations with top military commanders before her death and some hated her to a tilt for her brilliance and exploit against Boko Haram and bandits ” AOKOYA said in the statement.
AOKOYA said the theory that Arotile died in a motor accident inside the Airforce base is farfetched and doubtful.
“We want full investigation into this suspicious death. We find it difficult to believe the story based on the information at our disposal.
“How can she have died in a traffic accident right inside the Airforce base in Kaduna? We have made preliminary findings and all officers who spoke to us could not understand how that could have happened. One officer, her colleague in Kaduna specifically said the case of murder was the strongest motive”, AOKOYA said.
Arotile was 23 at the time of her death and one of the youngest fighter pilots in the world.
“There must be an independent enquiry for anyone to be convinced that Tolulope Arotile was not murdered. The Fulani hegemony hated bright officers of Southern origin. Tolu was exceptional and her brilliance was a threat to the establishment.” AOKOYA said.
The group recalled that a Yoruba Chief of Airforce, Shittu Alao was murdered in 1969 by the Fulani oligarchy, adding that Dr Ademola Adetokunbo, who carried out the autopsy was also murdered by the Federal authorities controlled by the Fulani. The Commandant of Nigerian Naval School, Mrs J.O Ogundana was murdered few months ago. Her body was mutilated and packed in a Ghana Must Go. In the same manner, Dr Yomi Oniororo a 29 year old officer of the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, (NIA) was murdered in Abuja, 2002.His body was mutilated. Dare, a senior police officer investigating the murder of Dele Giwa was also assassinated. His senior brother is the popular journalist, Prof Olatunji Dare.
“We are taking records. At the last count, some 413 Yoruba junior and senior Yoruba officers have been murdered by the Fulami oligarchy. Many of them were killed in a ‘neat job’ that looked like an accident
Arotile died mysteriously due to alleged head injuries sustained, according to Nigerian Airfoce, in road traffic accident at Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base Kaduna.
Arotile hailed from Iffe in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi state. She completed her training in South Africa last year and was winged as a combat helicopter pilot.
AOKOYA said it has been reliably informed how Arotile led major onslaught against bandits and armed Islamic fundamentalists. Her efforts led to deaths of several militants and bandits. “We have been informed that their agents and supporters in the military marked her and only succeeded in setting a trap for her”, AOKOYA said, adding that her last operation was in the North Central States tagged “Operation GAMA AIKI”in Minna, Niger State where despite rockets fired at her, she succeeded in killing many bandits and fundamentalists.
“The Nigerian authorities are shedding crocodile tears on the murder of Arotile. We promise his murderers that the several cases of murder of Yoruba officers in the Army, Navy or Airforce are being compiled and at the right time when Yoruba Nation emerges, the murderers will face the full weight of the law.