Nigeria at 59 Celebrates First Female Fighter and Helicopter Pilots

October 17, 2019

Nigeria we hail thee! For finally having female jet-fighter and helicopter pilots, in the Nigeria Air Force (NAF), which has been in existence for 55 years.

What a win for feminism!

…although long overdue.

Flying Officer Kafayat Sanni and first female helicopter pilot, Tolulope Arotile were inducted alongside 13 other fighter pilots at the NAF Headquarters, Abuja on Tuesday, after their training in the United States and South Africa.

Nigerian Fighter Pilot Needed to Train in US Air Force?

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, stated that the first female fighter pilot was trained at the US Air Force after a training course at 401 Flying Training School in Kaduna.

Doesn’t this beg the question of why she couldn’t be fully trained in Nigeria?

Well, considering that Nigeria is yet to have a national air carrier and had to wait for the philanthropy of Air Peace during the evacuation of Nigerians in South Africa recently, I’m not so surprised that we don’t have a school that can fully train our NAF officials.

Slow Move by NAF?

Why are we just getting these female pilot in 55 YEARS, 4 years shy of when Nigeria gained independence? Aren’t female pilots recruited in the Air Force constantly?

Are interested females made aware that they can join the Air Force if they desire or are their efforts frustrated?

Furthermore, as much as this feat is to be lauded, can we consider the fact that numerous commercial airlines have female pilots–most of whom are under 24 years old.

Meanwhile our Air Force is being praised for having only six female pilots, spread across, Intelligence, Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Transport Aircrafts and now–Combat. In other words, one to each department?

Nonetheless, we greatly applaud, these women for achieving something like this in a male dominated force, big ups to them!

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