Ohanaeze mourns Wigwe, tells Fubara to immortalize him
Apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has expressed deep distress over the death of Access Holdings plc Chief Executive Officer, Mr Herbert Wigwe who died in a helicopter crash in United States last weekend.
The chopper, identified as Eurocopter EC 130, was en route to Las Vegas when the fatal crash occurred near a border city between Nevada and California on Friday night.
Herbert along with his wife and son, and another close friend, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former group chairman of NGX Group were among the victims.
Ohanaeze in a statement signed by its spokesman, Dr Alex Ogbonnia which a copy was made available to NewsBand, extolled the brilliance of Herbert Wigwe.
“The enviable life trajectory of Herbert underscores the widely acknowledged Igbo ingenuity, hard work, integrity, prudence and the capacity to turn adversity into a pool of opportunities”, Ohanaeze said in the state.
“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has received with deep distress the news of the tragic death of one of one of our most brilliant creative thinkers, an audacious achiever, trail blazer, innovative edifice, charismatic visionary and top banker, the group managing director and CEO of Access Bank Plc, Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe, CON; who met his untimely death through a helicopter crash on Friday, February 9, 2024 on his way to Las Vegas, USA.
“The enviable life trajectory of Herbert underscores the widely acknowledged Igbo ingenuity, hard work, integrity, prudence and the capacity to turn adversity into a pool of opportunities. Herbert proved to the entire world that the audacity of intellectual prowess, social skill, humility and honesty is far more impactful than the audacity of aristocracy.
“The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide Chief Engr. Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, MFR; OFR; CFR; FNICE; FNSE; FNIST; KSG (Ahaejiagamba Ndigbo) is in a deep sorrow over the death of Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe. The Igbo Leader described the death of Herbert as one death too many. He stated that Herbert was exemplary in diverse ways, a motivator, a beacon of hope and a change agent with a robust vision. Ahaejiagamba lamented that Nigeria has lost a rare gem; an ebullient young man with an incredible zest for excellence, infectious enthusiasm, irresistible warmth, character comeliness, benevolent spirit and public wizardry.
“Herbert is one man who has changed the obscure narrative of Isiokpo with a network of asphalt roads, pipe borne water, solar lights and above all a university. His compassionate dispositions found expressions in the HOW Foundation, a non-profit organization which takes care of the widows, the vulnerable and scholarship schemes to indigent university students both in his Isiokpo community and beyond.
“Born in Ibadan on August 15, 1966, Wigwe attended the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and passed out in 1987 with a second-class upper degree in Accounting; Chartered accountant in 1989; MBA, North Wales University, UK, 1991; MSc, Fin. Economics, University of London; and the Harvard. His work experience took him through the Coopers and Lybrand Associates Limited; Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), where he became an Executive Director; Deputy Managing Director and later the Group Managing Director and CEO of Access Bank Plc; Chairman of Access Bank Ghana Limited; Chairman, Access Investment & Securities Limited; Chairman, Central Securities and Clearing System (CSCS); and the Chairman of Access Bank (UK) Limited, etc.”
Presidential General of the Igbo group, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, however, called on Governor Sim of Fubara of Rivers State to immortalize Herbert Wigwe, adding that it will serve as a very source of inspiration to the present day Youths.
“Chief Iwuanyanwu calls on His Excellency, Siminalayi Fubara, the Governor of Rivers State to immortalize the memories of the late Herbert Wigwe. He explains that it will serve as a very source of inspiration to the present day Youths. The Igbo Leader elaborates that at the young age of 32, Herbert was already the top echelon in the financial sector and at 36, Herbert had already navigated the ownership of a bank; and incredibly transformed a fledgling bank into one of the top banking institutions in Nigeria with global networks.
“The Igbo Leader sends his condolences to the Wigwe family, the Abimbola Ogunbanjo family, the Access Bank Plc, the good people of Omueke village, Isiokpo, community, the entire Ikwerre and the good people of Rivers State.
“The Igbo leader prays that the Almighty will grant the souls of Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe; the wife, Barr. Mrs Chizoba Nwigwe and the son, Chizi Wigwe; and Abimbola Ogunbanjo an eternal rest in his bosom.”