Ukraine-based Nigerian pastor Sunday Adelaja says Nigerians should stop mourning the first female combat helicopter pilot Tolulope Arotile but instead celebrate her achievements.
Arotile was hit by a vehicle at the Kaduna Air Force base on July 14 and died in a hospital.
In a video released online, Adelaja said the late Arotile should be celebrated as a model for young people.
“We must focus more on why we should rejoice for her and celebrate her life. I want us to shift our focus from mourning to celebration. There is a place for mourning. But we must see her as a hero that she was,” he said.
“We must talk about the accomplishment and inspiration she has brought to our nation. She has put her family on the map. She has put womanhood on the map. She has written her name in gold. She has immortalised herself.”
The cleric said Arotile’s accomplishments at age 24 proved that an impactful life was worth more than long life.
“Jesus did not live a long life. John the Baptist did not live long. Many died young and people have more memories of them than those who lived long lives. Arotile has been able to go beyond the call of duty. We should learn from her,” he said.
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“Not too many of us accomplished what she accomplished at age 24. There are a lot of Nigerians who have not met the president of Nigeria in their life not to talk of making a presentation to the president. She did. She was the first woman fighter pilot. She lived an inspiring life from the testimonies about her.
“Would you rather live a life that is not known for anything and live longer or you would live for a brief moment and be remembered for your impact. Arotile has become immortal among us. We should begin to measure life by its productivity, not longevity.”
Arotile will be buried on Thursday with full military honours at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja.