News

March 9, 2024

Wigwe, wife, son buried in private cemetery as tears flow freely

Wigwe: Emotions, as govs, Dangote, Peter Obi, Sanusi, Amaechi, Saraki, others attend funeral (Photos)

*Akpabio, Tambuwal, Fubara, others eulogise his legacies

By Daniel Abia, P/Harcourt

It was the end of an era as the late Dr. Herbert Wigwe, the co-founder and Chief Executive of Access Bank Group; his wife, Chizoba, and 29-year-old son, Chizzy, were laid to rest in a private cemetery.

The burial ground is located within the sprawling private home he built inside the premises of the Wigwe University in his country home of Isiokpo in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Recall that the deceased were on board the ill-fated helicopter that crashed between the boundaries of Nevada and California in the United States after an 11-hour flight from London on February 9, 2024.

In his tribute to the departed business mogul, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, described late Dr. Wigwe as a great mentor who positively impacted the younger generations to greatness.

He spoke at the funeral ceremony on Saturday at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Lion of Judah Parish, Isiokpo.

Legacies

Akpabio said Wigwe had left behind indelible legacies that would be difficult to equate in the education and financial sectors respectively and enjoined all to imbibe the positive virtues of the late billionaire.

The Senate President noted that Wigwe’s passion for human capital development prompted him to support many in acquiring tertiary education across the world.

“I believe he was a great mentor. He mentored a lot of younger people and he was 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 so 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.

 “This man has made so much impact around the world. He gave food to so many people in Nigeria and many countries in the world, 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.”

Also speaking shortly after the event, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives and immediate past Governor of Sokoto State, Waziri Aminu Tambuwal, said Wigwe gave his best to the financial sector in Nigeria.

“He was 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 had 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.”

Meanwhile, the former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus said the vacuum created by the death of Wigwe would be hard to fill up.

Secondus stated that the University Wigwe left behind in his home town would not only benefit his kinsmen, but the entire country.

“We are in pain because of the death of our brother. He has left a huge legacy that it would be very difficult for a very long time to fill.

“He was our brother and he was a leader and of course you know he was a financial guru. He was like a man who saw tomorrow.

“He dreamt and he followed his dream to the letter coming back home to establish the university that would have been the best and is still going to be the best in the world.

“It is one legacy that he has left that everybody in Isiokpo, in Rivers State, Nigeria and Africa as a whole would continue to remember him.”

Roll call

Some other dignitaries at the funeral were Governors Sim Fubara (Rivers), Douye Diri (Bayelsa), and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos).

Governor of Akwa Ubom state, Umo Eno; Governor of Imo state, Hope Uzodinma, and the King of Okochiri Kingdom, Ateke Tom, are there. 

President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; former Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi: 2023 Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, are also at the event.

Also, the immediate past Bayelsa Governor, Senator Seriake Dickson, and former Ekiti Governor, Kayode Fayemi, are present.

Also, there was the state’s Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, who is the chief security officer, CSO, of the burial ceremony, and Dr Godknows Igali, a former Nigerian Ambassador. 

Members of the clergy, traditional rulers from the Omoeke, Wigwe’s hometown, and monarchs from Isiokpo in general are in attendance.

Vanguard News