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.It is an overwhelming tragedy that is shocking beyond comprehension -President
. Nigeria has lost one of its most innovative entrepreneurs -Atiku
.Access boss was king of visionary, disruptive ideas –Lagos gov
.’NTSB is investigating cause of crash’
Jonas Ezieke, Abuja with agency reports
Tributes have been pouring in over the death of the Group Executive Officer (CEO) of Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe and five others who died in a helicopter crash in the US.
Among them are President Bola Tinubu , former Vice President and the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi, the Director General of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Executive Chairman of Geregu Power Plc, Femi Otedola, Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo (SAN), the Kaduna State governor, Uba Sani , Lagos state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu , Anambra state Governor, Prof Chukwma Soludo amongst others.
President Bola Tinubu in a condolence letter said ‘’After receiving an official confirmation of events, I receives with shock and deep distress the news of the passing of Mr. Herbert Wigwe, top banker and entrepreneur, and Mr. Abimbola Ogunbanjo, OFR, former Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, along with members of the Wigwe family.
Mr. Herbert Wigwe, CON, was the Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc and founder of the How Foundation.
President Tinubu mourns these exceptional Nigerian business leaders and describes their passing as “an overwhelming tragedy that is shocking beyond comprehension.”
The President condoles with the Wigwe and Ogunbanjo families, the business community, and all those impacted by this harrowing incident.
President Tinubu prays for the peaceful repose of the departed and asks God Almighty to comfort the multitude of Nigerians who are grieving and the families of the deceased at this deeply agonizing moment.
Atiku, in a tweet on his X handle described the incident as unfortunate.
He wrote, “I’m deeply saddened to hear about the unfortunate incident that led to the loss of Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, and his family. Indeed, Herbert Wigwe, consummate banker, education promoter, and philanthropist, numbered his days. On behalf of my family, my heart goes out to their loved ones and everyone affected by this unfortunate incident. May their souls rest in peace.”
In the words of one of Nigeria’s finest CEOs, Herbert Wigwe, “Today and always, let us remember that life is a precious gift – a chance to breathe, feel, love, experience and connect. Let’s honour this gift by living with purpose, kindness, and gratitude, making every moment.
The Director-General, World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, posted on her X handle @NOIweala, “Terribly saddened by the news of the terrible loss of Herbert Wigwe, Group CEO Access Bank, his wife and son as well as Bimbo Ogunbanjo in a helicopter crash.
“My deepest sympathies and condolences to the Wigwe family, the Ogunbanjo family, Access Bank Group employees and Management and my younger brother, Herbert’s partner, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede. May the souls of the departed rest in perfect peace.”
Terribly saddened by the news of the terrible loss of Herbert Wigwe , Group CEO Access Bank @HerbertOWigwe , his wife and son as well as Bimbo Ogunbanjo in a helicopter crash. My deepest sympathies and condolences to the Wigwe family, the Ogunbanjo family, Access Bank Group…
The 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, in a statement on his X handle described Wigwe’s death as a profound loss across the nation.
Mr Peter Obi, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party, has expressed sadness over the loss of Access Bank Holding Company Chief Executive Officer, Herbert Wigwe in an air mishap on Friday.
Obi, who was the former governor of Anambra, made this known in a series of tweets on his official X handle on Sunday.
Obi, a businessman, said he was distressed to hear the news as Wigwe had been a close ally of his for years.
“I am deeply saddened by the tragic news of the passing of my dear friend, Mr Herbert Wigwe, CEO of Access Holdings, along with his wife and son, and another close friend, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former group chairman of NGX Group.
“This loss is profoundly felt across the nation. I first met Herbert during his early days, on the brink of starting his marital journey.
“I vividly remember assisting him in preparing for his traditional wedding and being there for the ceremony with his wife, Chizoba, from Achina, Anambra.
“Since then, I have maintained a connection to his endeavors in my own modest ways. Herbert, a determined and forward-thinking individual, led Access Bank to new heights.
“His noteworthy contributions extended beyond the professional realm, with commendable philanthropic efforts in health and education.
“This was exemplified by the establishment of Wigwe University, showcasing his deep commitment to education as a driver of development,” he said.
Obi said the loss of such an exceptional individual reminded mankind of the fleeting nature of life, and encouraged them to live with a purpose that contributed to the betterment of humanity.
The former governor said his heartfelt thoughts and prayers were with Herbert, his beloved wife, his son, and all those who lost their lives in the tragic plane crash.
He prayers that God should grant them eternal rest and provide strength to Herbert’s family, Access Holdings, and all of them mourning the irreplaceable loss.
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party prayed God to grant the deceased family members a peaceful repose.
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has also described as tragic the reported death of the Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc.
Abiodun, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Lekan Adeniran, described the incident as a devastating loss for the families, friends, and the entire business community in Nigeria.
“I am deeply saddened by the news of the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Herbert Wigwe and five others. My thoughts and prayers are with their families during this difficult time. Herbert Wigwe was not only a respected business leader but also a role model for many aspiring entrepreneurs. His contributions to the banking sector and the Nigerian economy will always be remembered.”
Executive Chairman of Geregu Power Plc, Femi Otedola in a post on his X handle says he is shocked to hear about the death of Wigwe, his wife and son.
“I am shocked and saddened to hear of the loss of a banking genius Herbert Wigwe, his dear wife Chizoba and first son Chizi. Exactly two weeks ago Herbie and his wife hosted myself and Aliko to dinner at his newly built home in Lagos. I will cherish and fondly remember my memories of time spent together with him over the years.”
I am shocked and saddened to hear of the loss of a banking genius Herbert Wigwe, his dear wife Chizoba and first son Chizi.
Exactly two weeks ago Herbie and his wife hosted myself and Aliko to dinner at his newly built home in Lagos. I will cherish and fondly remember my… pic.twitter.com/jJDq7vZpLa
The executive governor of Kaduna State on his part 2received with shock and deep sense of loss the news of the passing of the Chairman/CEO of Access Corporation (one of Kaduna State’s development partners), Mr. Herbert Wigwe, CFR.”
I received with shock and deep sense of loss the news of the passing on of the Chairman/CEO of Access Corporation (one of Kaduna State’s development partners), Mr. Herbert Wigwe, CFR.
Also, President of the Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has mourned the sudden demise of Chief Executive Officer of Access Holding, Mr Herbert Wigwe, his wife, son and others in a helicopter crash in California, USA.
Akpabio, in a statement on Sunday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Eseme Eyiboh, described the death of Wigwe as a big loss not only to the Nigerian banking and finance industry but also to the country as a whole.
Akpabio said: “I received with shock the news of the passing of Wigwe and some of his family members in a helicopter crash in the USA.”
He said Wigwe’s contribution to the growth of Nigerian banking industry and, indeed, the economy was exemplary and commendable.
He described Wigwe as an iconic entrepreneur, a serial investor that passed on at a time that Nigeria needed his services the most.
“In his chosen career he exhibited a high level of professionalism and unmatched leadership which marked him out as a true patriot.
“He was a man of integrity, who never believed in cutting corners to achieve success in business.
“His vision in establishing a world class university, Wigwe University, to cater for the educational development of the country will be cherished as a memento for his love for Nigeria.
“On behalf of the 10th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I offer our condolences to the Wigwe family, the Board and Management of Access Bank, the Governor of Rivers State and the President.
“We pray for the repose of the souls of the deceased, while we urge Nigerians to uphold the values of integrity, commitment, and professionalism that he embodied throughout his remarkable career,” he said. (NAN)
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has mourned the passage of the CEO of Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe, who died in a chopper crash with about five others in California, United States.
Governor Sanwo-Olu in a condolence message he signed and issued on Sunday, described Wigwe as the king of visionary and disruptive ideas, saying the death of the renowned banker and entrepreneur is a personal loss to him and a colossal loss to Lagos, Nigeria and the banking industry.
Sanwo-Olu who described Herbert Wigwe as “my brother, my friend and my adviser,” said “Herbert’s contributions to banking and the financial sector in Africa were unparalleled. He was an unapologetic believer in the Nigerian solution.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu said: “I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of my dear brother and friend, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, his dear wife Doreen, and their beloved son Chizi in a helicopter crash.
“Herbert was not just a brother and visionary leader but one of the brightest minds in Africa. His impact on our nation and beyond will be remembered forever. My heart mourns.
“Herbert’s contributions to banking and the financial sector in Africa were unparalleled. He was an unapologetic believer in the Nigerian solution. His dedication and passion for progress inspired us all. Today, we mourn not just a leader but a true friend and brother. Lagos and Nigeria have lost a remarkable soul. Rest in peace, my brother.
“We also lost another great business leader and legal luminary, my egbon Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, who contributed significantly to the development of the Capital Markets and Corporate law in Nigeria. May his soul rest in peace.
“In this difficult time, our thoughts are with the families of all the victims, and we pray for strength and grace.”
However, Gov Soludo said “ With profound grief and shock, Anambra State Governor, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, mourns the tragic passing of Chief Executive officer of Nigeria’s Access Holdings, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, his wife, and son in a helicopter accident in California, USA, on Friday.
By his death, Nigeria has lost one of its most brilliant minds in the financial services sector. Mr. Wigwe was not only a prominent Nigerian banker and entrepreneur, but also a personal friend of the Governor.
As a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Governor Soludo had the privilege of witnessing firsthand Mr. Wigwe’s innovative approach to banking and his instrumental role during the Bank Consolidation in driving the growth and expansion of Access Bank, both within Nigeria and internationally.
His leadership extended far beyond Access Bank. Mr. Wigwe was a pillar of the Nigerian business community, a champion for economic development, an avid educationist and a true visionary who consistently pushed boundaries for growth and development
His contributions to the banking sector, and to Nigeria as a whole, will be long remembered.
Mr. Wigwe’s legacy will live on through the countless lives he touched, the institutions he built, such as the Wigwe University, and the inspiration he provided to generations of youth, aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders.
He will be deeply missed, but never forgotten.
Governor Soludo’s deepest condolences go out to the Wigwe family, Access Bank and his associates during this incredibly difficult time.
May they find solace in the outpouring of love and support from their loved ones and the wider Nigerian community.
.Wigwe, others’ deaths shocking, devastating-Deputy Speaker, Kalu
Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has expressed shock and sadness over the death of the Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, his wife, Doreen and son, Chizi in a helicopter crash in the United States of America over the weekend.
Kalu also mourned the demise of the former Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), Abimbola Ogunbanjo among others who also lost their lives in the crash.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Levinus Nwabughiogu on Sunday, Kalu described the deaths as shocking, devastating, heart-wrenching and tragic.
The Deputy Speaker said that Wigwe was a fine gentleman and thorougbred professional who significantly impacted the finance and business climate, noting that Nigeria’s corporate world will greatly miss him.
Commiserating with the deceased families, friends and loved ones, Kalu also prayed God to give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable losses.
“I am deeply saddened by the news of the death of Mr. Herbert Wigwe, the Group CEO of Access Bank, alongside his wife and son as well as Abimbola Ogunbanjo, a former Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group, and others in a helicopter crash in the US.
“Wigwe was a visionary who significantly impacted our nation’s banking sector. His death is indeed a tragic loss to our finance industry.
“My sincere prayers are with his family, friends, and loved ones in this difficult time. May God grant them the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss and may the souls of the departed find eternal peace in the Lord”, Kalu said.
Daily Champion reports that Access Bank chief executive Herbert Wigwe, his wife and son, and the former group chairman of the Nigeria Stock Exchange, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, were among six people killed in a helicopter crash in the Mojave Desert near the California-Nevada border late Friday night, according to a World Trade Organization official.
WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said in a post on X. Both of the helicopter’s pilots
The chartered Airbus EC130 helicopter was flying from Palm Springs, California, to Boulder City, Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas, according to National Transportation Safety Board member Michael Graham.
The aircraft, which was operated by California-based charter company Orbic Air, took off around 8:45 p.m. PT and crashed just after 10 p.m. near Interstate 15 in Halloran Springs, California, Graham said.
The helicopter caught fire upon impact, Graham added, citing witness reports. Witnesses also reported rain and a wintry mix when the crash happened, he said.
The NTSB is investigating the cause of the crash and was on the scene in Halloran Springs, California, Saturday night collecting evidence, Graham said at a news conference.
The governor of Nigeria’s Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, said he is “extremely shocked and devastated” and said the deaths are an “irreparable loss.”
“Wigwe was a colossus in Nigeria’s financial sector, leading Access Bank to become an international brand that placed Nigeria on the global map of first-class financial services,” Obaseki said in a post on X.
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