Business|Top Story

Funeral Rites Conclude as Herbert Wigwe, Wife, and Son Are Laid to Rest 

In a somber event marked by tears and tributes, Herbert Wigwe, his wife Chizoba, and their son Chizi were laid to rest in their hometown of Omueke, Isiokpo in Rivers State after a week-long series of funeral rites.
The trio, alongside former Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), Abimbola Ogunbanjo, as well as two pilots, were all in the Airbus Helicopter EC 130B4 with registration number N130CZ, which crashed near Halloran Springs, California, on February 9, 2024.
The funeral proceedings began with a private interment following a heartfelt funeral service at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Lion of Judah Parish, Isiokpo.
Saturday’s funeral service commenced promptly at 11:00 am after a Christian wake keep was organised in their honour. Hundreds of mourners, including friends, associates, and well-wishers from Nigeria and across the globe poured into Isiokpo to pay their final respects to the trio.
Among the notable figures present were Senate President Godswill Akpabio, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Nyesom Wike, business mogul Aliko Dangote, HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II, and several state governors, including Gov. Alex Otti, Gov. Dapo Abiodun, and Gov. Babajide Sawno-Olu.
Other dignitaries in attendance were Rivers State Governor Sim Fubara and State Commissioner of Police Olatunji Disu, who was the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the burial ceremony.
Also at the funeral were Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State and Dr. Godknows Igali, a former Nigerian diplomat, among many others.
Rivers State Governor Sim Fubara and State Commissioner of Police Olatunji Disu oversaw the security arrangements of the event.
The tragic loss of Herbert, Chizoba, and Chizi Wigwe, alongside former Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group) Abimbola Ogunbanjo, sent shockwaves through the banking industry and beyond.
While the exact cause of the crash remains under investigation by the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), witnesses reported adverse weather conditions at the time.
Tributes poured in from across the nation, highlighting Herbert Wigwe’s profound impact on the banking sector and his unwavering commitment to community development. Aliko Dangote, in a tearful tribute, hailed Wigwe as a pillar of support, renaming a road leading to the Dangote Refinery in his honor.
Vice President Kashim Shettima, representing President Bola Tinubu, lamented the untimely departure of a visionary leader.
“Herbert left us in winter before the season of bloom. Spring was just about to arrive at his last location, the United States when the Lord called for him,” Shettima said.
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu praised Wigwe’s detribalized nature, emphasizing his enduring legacy in Lagos.
The emotional tributes continued as Wigwe’s daughter, Tochi, reminisced about her father’s guidance and unwavering support.
“In this moment, for the first time, your words resonate deeply within me. No longer do I want to tilt my head and squint my eyes in confusion. You were simply extraordinary,” Tochi said.
“You urged me to reach new heights I never even imagined. Whenever doubt clouded my mind, you would chuckle knowingly and say, ‘You really just don’t know whose child you are, you’ll soon find out.’ And once again, you were right: I’ve come to find out.
“I could never fathom how you managed to do it all; it seemed inconceivable. Turning everything you touched to gold while remaining an unwavering anchor for your family and friends.”
Former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, struggled to contain his grief, recalling Wigwe’s loyalty and assistance during difficult times.
Sanusi could not hold his tears as he narrated how late Wigwe helped him when he was dethroned as Emir.
He regretted that Wigwe had to die before him, saying, “I was thinking I would die and leave Herbert. We have all heard about him, about his loyalty”.
The poignant account from Wigwe’s personal assistant, Sola Faleye, got many people in the hall and those watching emotional as he narrated the last moments with his late boss before the unfortunate crash.
He said he was supposed to fly in the chopper alongside his boss and others but on second thought decided to accompany their luggage by road since the chopper could not carry it.
According to Falaye, he decided to accompany the luggage by road to ensure they arrived safely to his boss who told him it was a brilliant idea.
So he headed to Vegas by road with the luggage while Wigwe, his wife, son, and Mr Ogunbajo boarded the chopper to the same destination.
While still driving to Vegas, Faleye tried to call his boss and the others on the chopper, but none of the calls went through.
Among those paying homage to the late Access Bank chief were Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Yemi Cardoso, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy Wale Edun, and President of the African Development Bank Group Akinwumi Adesina.
As the nation mourns the loss of Herbert Wigwe, his wife, and son, their legacy of service, leadership, and compassion will endure as a beacon of inspiration for generations to come.
Kindly share this story:
Kindly share this story:
Share on whatsapp
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on telegram
Share on facebook
Top News

Related Articles