Death of Flt. Officer Tolu Arotile

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Tolulope Arotile

Nigeria may be lagging far behind in every index of development but this does not mean that those who have a modicum of education should not use that knowledge for simple situation-analysis, especially when the mind is put to use doing correlation analyses.

No matter how Boko Haram and its ilk want us to behave and live out our lives, we cannot deny the fact we are now part of the global enlightenment community and that is why we shut down our society in lockdown mode when the global community went into necessary lockdown. While I commiserate with the parents and siblings of the young warfighter, Flight Officer Tolulope Arotile, over her death I took the liberty to do correlation analysis and wondered why gung-ho anti-Boko Haram warfighters of the Nigerian military get killed in suspicious circumstances.

The story by the Nigerian Air Force that young Officer Tolu was knocked down by the reversing car of “an over-excited former classmate” sounded too smooth and too true to be real. To begin, let us all not forget that Boko Haram is not your typical flash-in the-pan terror group but these killers are artfully contrived to help spread a key message of the creed, viz: “Westernisation is threatening the faith.”

The message of Boko Haram seeps into the hearts and essence of believers and so it comes as no surprise that, even far back in the Goodluck Jonathan administration, important army generals have been implicated collaborating with Boko Haram against the overall interests of a “pagan and secularist” Nigeria. Didn’t one of those army big-boss almost get himself shot up by miffed special forces soldiers who accused him of betraying their colleagues to Boko Haram in the midst of operations? What is troubling me about the death of Flight Officer Tolulope Arotile is the pattern that can be made out of the deaths of other anti-terror influential warfighters.

First, recall that an artillery colonel who was so successful in command against Boko Haram was suddenly recalled from the field and transferred to an instructorship at the military post in Jaji, Kaduna State; this colonel was, surprisingly, kidnapped in a most simplistic fashion and subsequently murdered.

Forget the bullshit by the police authority that some “miscreants” carried out this deed. Think deep. Boko Haram has connections everywhere. Didn’t Goodluck Jonathan say that much? Second, those in the know will always tell you that the gallant Lt. Col. Abu Ali, a tank battalion commander, died in unexplained, very simplistic circumstance; there was the whispered rumour of a new-found lover luring him out to ambush.

A lover in the midst of the Northeast wilderness? What kind of woman lives and thrives in Boko Haram country and keep her poise and grace so as to attract the attention of a dashing lieutenant colonel of the Nigerian Army? Think deep. Third, who has forgotten the death of that young combat chopper pilot from Bayelsa State who met his death in circumstance that raised suspicion and caused great consternation amongst the people of Bayelsa State? Think deep. Those in the know say that that ill-fated flight was wrongly marshalled out and the yarn that that expensive and sophisticated craft was taken out by “Boko Haram fire” was, well, just a yarn.

What kind of military glorifies Boko Haram prowess and tactical abilities in a time of warfare? Fourthly, this is all about Officer Tolu: we are being regaled by the yarn that some freak car accident caused her death inside the complex of the Nigerian Air Force Base at Kaduna. Convenient circumstance. Think deep. Boko Haram has deep connections everywhere.

––Sunday Adole Jonah, Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State