The Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, on Saturday honoured the first-ever female combat helicopter pilot in the Nigerian Air Force, late Flying Officer, Tolulope Arotile.

Arotole who died on 14 July 2020 as a result of head injuries sustained in a road traffic accident at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna State, won the posthumous award, at the 2021 edition of the annual event named Royal African Young Leadership Forum (RAYLF), held in Oduduwa Hall, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

Aside from the posthumous award given to Arotile, other awardees who got honoured at the event were the Executive Director of the Nigeria Export Import Bank, Hon. Stella Okotete, popular Nollywood actress Bukunmi Oluwasina, Speaker of the Nigeria Youths Parliament, Mubarak Mujinyawa and a prominent child rights advocate, Adepeju Jayeoba among others.

During the event which was well attended by top dignitaries including the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, Ooni Ogunwusi described Nigerian youths as the country’s greatest asset, urging them to be focused to achieve their desired goals.

“Beyond the plaque and certificate of commendation, I want you all to sustain the good works upon which you are being awarded today. What’s next after good work is more work and I want you to keep moving on for the sake of this country and the younger ones looking up to you.

“I am glad that you all have chosen to be an active stakeholder towards the growth of this country, I urge you to keep on doing this as nothing would be achieved if we keep complaining about the system without doin our part.

“I am always ready, able and capable to help you reach your peak. Let me know about any door you are trying to knock and I will open it for you anywhere in the world. You are our greatest asset with which Nigeria’s journey towards prosperity would be hastened.” The Ooni said.

In his remark, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development lauded the awardees for their respective productive engagements, assuring them that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is ready to help them through its several developmental policies and programmes.

“I am impressed by your rich profile which was read earlier, I find it so intimidating and simultaneously thrilled by the fact that you have achieved so much at your respective young ages.

“Some of you are already members of the National Assembly, Chief Executive Officers (C.E.O) of firms, Captain of Industries, record-breaking entrepreneurs and professionals among others.

“I am delighted to inform you that any of you awardees here today would be granted an express approval to access loan facilities and other support initiatives of the government to uplift your businesses.” Hon. Dare said.