Arotile: In Sober Reflection

By Olusola Babatunde Adegbite, Esq. July 17, 2020

Arotile: In Sober Reflection

The news of her death sent a gale of shock, grieve, and deep anguish across the nation.  At 23, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile defied all the odds, broke through all the barriers that her country had put in her way, when on October 15, 2019 she was decorated as the first female combat helicopter pilot in the history of the Nigerian Airforce. As a 24-year-old, while some enemies of Nigeria were busy looting the NDDC to the bone, Arotile in a rare display of prodigious courage was at work confronting armed bandits who had taken over much of the country’s ungoverned spaces.

Painfully, she had only returned from one of such missions, and granted one week off, when she met her untimely death through a so-called freak accident, in a Military facility, that ought to have all the trappings of discipline, order, and structure. 

Arotile’s death is extremely painful, because it ought not to have happened. If Arotile were the citizen of a first-world country, would she have died the way she did? If Arotile were a Briton, would paramedics not have been on ground in minutes, deploying the latest emergency and trauma equipment to keep her alive? If Arotile were an American, would she return from such important combat missions and not be in a better secured military facility, where no freak accident can happen? If Arotile was a Canadian, would Justin Trudeau not have personally visited the family by now showing the empathy of a leader? If Arotile was an Australian, would the media not be on a 24-hour tongue-lashing of the State, demanding more answers?

There is one common denominator to the four countries mentioned above – the high value they place on their citizens. Even though they are also governed by politicians, they are not ruled by wicked men who claim to be progressives. Their rich sense of value is why even Nigerians who are immigrants in those countries, are accorded the kind of rights they can never dream of in their home country.

While the likes of Arotile are writing the name of their country in gold with their little acts of patriotism, the Nigerian political class and their children continue to give the nation a bad name, with no leadership structure to bring them to book. May Jehovah God strengthen Arotile’s family, shine his countenance on them, and fill the heart of her parents with the fullness his joy in Jesus name.

Many things are wrong with Nigeria, but none is as bewildering, befuddling, and as heart-wrenching as this – every time you are confronted with news of the stench and filth coming out of different corridors of the government, you wonder whether the country has a President.