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Dignitaries in tearful farewell for Wigwe, wife, son

The late Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, Mr. Herbert Wiwge, yesterday went home in a blaze of glory with top government functionaries, captains of industry and other eminent Nigerians paying tributes to one of Nigeria’s outstanding bankers of his generation.
Many of the sympathisers were in tears.

Wigwe, who died in the California, USA helicopter crash of February 9, 2024, was interred in a private tomb at Wigwe University which he built in his home town of Isiokpo, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Also buried with him were his wife Chizoba and son Chizi, both of whom died in the same crash.

The burial was preceded by a funeral service at the Lion of Judah Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Isiokpo.

In a sermon at the service, the Pastor in charge of Region 33, Southsouth, Pastor David Adeoye, described life as just a loan that must be repaid by every human being.

He charged the living to make maximum positive impact, saying there might never be an opportunity to do so after death.

He admonished everyone to utilise their positions in doing good to humanity before it became late.

The service, according to him, was meant to reflect on the legacies of the late financial magnate in the industry and all shades of humanity.

Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara pledged that the state government would sustain the legacy of the Wigwe University.

He challenged the political class to reflect on the essence of the struggle for power especially when it was not deployed to impact society positively.

Fubara said the deceased persons spent their time within the short period they lived to make enormous and impactful contributions to humanity.

He said: “Here lie our brother, his wife and son; everyone has come to celebrate them. It means even in the short period that they lived, they lived impactful lives.  They made great contributions to humanity.

“Here is a man, though not a politician, he made his money through investments. He had the world in his palm financially. He even controlled the political class.

“This takes me to my question to the political class. What is all this struggle all about? You want to kill and bury, to what end?

“But today, with all the power financially, he couldn’t control life. Is it not enough for us to ask ourselves why are we struggling?

“Why are we not making enough impact in the lives of our people? Please, let the political class reflect on this.”

Fubara said that in immortalising the late Herbert Wigwe, the state government would work with Herbert Wigwe Foundation to ensure that the institution is sustained in accordance with the dreams of Herbert Wigwe.

In a separate tribute, Senate President Godswill Akpabio described the late Access Holdins CEO as a great mentor who positively impacted the younger generations.

Akpabio said Wigwe left behind indelible legacies in the education and financial sectors.

Akpabio said: “I believe he was a great mentor. He mentored a lot of younger people and he is a serious role model to the future generation that you can build from nothing and get to greatness. To become great, you must work hard, because with hard work, you can achieve greatness.

“The university he has left behind was because of his passion for education. He has supported and sent many to educational citadels across the world and leaving this edifice behind.

“You know the university is not only for Nigerians, it is for the entire global community. So just like he was a global banker, opening bank branches all over the place, he actually has dropped a legacy in education that he would be remembered for years to come.

“This man has made so much impact around the world: he gave food to so many people in Nigeria and many countries in Africa. Even in Dubai. He was also in China. He did a lot. He put food on the table of so many in the world. So I regarded him as a global citizen, an icon of the world.”

Ex Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal said Wigwe gave his best to the financial sector in Nigeria.

He said: “He is an illustrious son, someone who gave his best to the Nigerian financial sector. Unfortunately, he met an untimely death. It was his time. God Almighty called upon him and he had to answer.

“Our consolation is that he did very well and he has left a very lasting legacy. May his soul rest in peace.”

A former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, said the vacuum the death of Wigwe has caused would be hard to fill.

Secondus noted that the university he left behind would benefit his kinsmen and strangers, adding that the entire Africa would remember him.

Other dignitaries at the funeral were  Governors  Babajide Sanwolu (Lagos); Dapo Abiodun (Ogun); Douye Diri (Bayelsa); Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom) and  Alex Otti (Abia) as well as  FCT Minister  Nyesom Wike; Finance Minister  Wale Edun; former Governors Peter Obi (Anambra); Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers); Seriake Dickson  (Bayelsa); Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); James Ibori (Delta) and former Senate President Bukola Saraki..

Also in attendance were Chief Celestine Omehia, Mr. Austin Opara, business guru Alhaji Aliko Dangote, former APC governorship candidate in Rivers, Tonye Cole; former Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido; former managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr.Timi Alaibe and co-founder of Access Bank Aigboje Aig-Imuokhuede.

Traditional rulers from different parts of the country, clergymen, women, youths and the masses were also present.

The caskets bearing the remains had arrived the community on Friday in three transparent executive Mercedes ambulances.

They were received by mourning residents led by the Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Samuel Nwanosike.

Five traditional cannons were fired close to the entrance of the council’s Secretariat in Isiokpo in honour of the deceased.

Residents comprising women, children, chiefs, youths trooped out en masse and in tears to catch a glimpse of their heroes. NATION 

Source: Hardcore News 

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