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Wigwe: Lagos Assembly asks banker’s colleagues to sustain legacy

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– We’ll uphold his legacies — Access Bank workers

IBRAHIM QUADRI

 

The Lagos State House of Assembly resumed plenary on Monday with a call on colleagues of late banker, Herbert Wigwe, to sustain his legacies.

 

Wigwe, the Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, lost his life in a helicopter crash in the United States of America. He was with his wife, Doreen, son and Abimbola Ogunbajo, a former chairman of Nigeria Exchange Group.

 

Speaking under ‘Matter of Urgent Public Importance’, Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, described Wigwe’s demise as “shocking, painful, disturbing and unexpected.”

 

Obasa recalled his last encounter with the late Wigwe on their way back to Lagos from Abuja describing the deceased as one who was passionate about Nigeria’s development.

 

“The demise of Wigwe is painful because this is someone who struggled to establish himself in terms of professionalism, his contributions and activities in the banking industry and even his personal life.

 

“There is no doubt that he was a philanthropist, at least we know of the Lagos City Marathon which he had supported for many years.

 

“My last encounter with him was on my way from Abuja to Lagos in his aircraft. Within the one-hour flight, we had a lot of discussions,” the Speaker said recalling how Wigwe spoke concerning the economy, the nation and its polity.

 

“All we can do now is mourn and accept what happened as what fate has brought upon us. He did not die alone. His wife, son and friend were with him.

 

“The lesson from this is that even though none of us wants to die, we must put the best of us in our relationships with others and contribute our best to our society and nation as these are what people will remember after us.

 

“I want to urge his colleagues to sustain his legacies, his philanthropic activities part of which is the Lagos City Marathon which has been expanded beyond the shores of Nigeria as well as the Wigwe University which, I am sure, was for the benefit of Nigerians,” the Speaker added as he prayed for the repose of the souls of the departed.

 

In their contributions, some of the lawmakers described the late Wigwe as a man who was humble despite his financial strength.

 

“Though very wealthy, he brought himself to understanding people. He was a friend of this state for many years. He despised domestic violence and spoke against it vehemently,” Hon. Desmond Olusola Elliot said.

 

Hon. Abiodun Tobun also described the late banker as easy-going and unassuming.

We’ll uphold his legacies- Access Bank workers

 

Meanwhile, Staff members of Access Holdings on Monday promised to uphold the legacies of their late co-founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of the Access Holdings Group, Dr Herbert Wigwe, who died in a helicopter crash.

Wigwe died with his wife, Chizoba, and son, Chizi, alongside Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group), in the U.S. on Feb. 9, 2024.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the Access Bank Headquarters at the Victoria Island, the workers and customers were in sober and pensive mood.

Though activities were going on smoothly at the headquarters, a water-tight security was equally put in place within and around the premises.

NAN, however, flipped through the condolence register opened in honour of the departed with a number of comments.

However, the bank’s security operatives prevented NAN correspondents from picking names of the commentors in the register.

The security operatives said they were under strict instructions not to allow anyone flip through the register, insisting that sympathisers could only ‘comment and leave’.

“We are not happy, this is not time for this,” one of the security operatives said.

Members of the public and staff arrived the area in droves to sign with some adorned in black corporate attires.

Some of the workers who expressed thier mood praised Wigwe’s mentorship and brilliance at impacting them to sharpen their skills, competencies and capabilities.

However, some staff member spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity while expressing their grief.

A senior official said the tragedy was a personal loss to workers, who felt like blood relation of Wigwe, described as a great boss that touched and impacted the lives of many workers directly.

The workers promised that the staff would use the deceased great visions for the continued growth and development of the bank.

The official said Wigwe introduced innovations that repositioned the Access Bank Holdings on a new global pedestal.

“If Herbert had a dream, it was our collective vision, we will uphold his visions and legacies, and build on his legacies.

“We have not only lost a good boss but we have lost a friend, his wife  was also involved. So, we have lost a brother’s wife and a cherished son,” one of the workers said.

“We are still in shock. He was a good boss, a committed achiever, we will build on his legacies, it will live here forever”.

NAN reports that the Access Holdings Plc. lost three top executives including its Chairman, Bababode Osunkoya who died on Nov. 21, 2023, after a brief illness.

Also, the Head of Media Relations at Access Holdings, Abdul Imoyo, died on Dec. 17, 2023, at the First Cardiology, Ikoyi, Lagos, after a brief illness. (NAN)

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