Herbert Wigwe, a luminary and leader, leaves a void in Africa and the world- SENATE


The Senate has mourned the sudden demise of the Chief Executive Officer of Access Holding,  Herbert Wigwe, his wife and son in a helicopter crash in California, USA.

The Senate on Wednesday paid glowing tribute to the late Herbert Wigwe, describing his death as a loss, not only to Nigeria but to Africa and the world, just as it said that it was deeply distressed by the news of the helicopter crash in California, USA on Friday night that took the life of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe, alongside his son, wife and Chairman of the Nigeria Exchange Group PLC (NGX), Abimbola Ogunbanjo.

he Senate observed a one-minute silence for the departed souls and resolved to send a powerful delegation to his burial.

Resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a motion by Senator Onyesoh Allwell (Rivers East).

In his presentation,  Allwell said that  Herbert Wigwe was born on August 15, 1966, in present-day Oyo state to the family of Pastor Shyngle Wigwe of Ikwere Local Government Area of Rivers state. He had his primary and secondary education in Ibadan, Oyo state and went on to Federal Government College, Sokoto and later attended Federal Government College, Warri, crowning it with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Nigeria, UNN Nsukka.

As the senators took turns to speak on the death of Wigwe, Senator Aminu Tambawal, former governor of Sokoto state, who was Wigwe’s classmate at FGC, Sokoto said, the late Chief Herbert Wigwe, though a Christian gave 10 Hajj seats to his people on one of his (Wigwe’s) many visits to the state.

Describing Wigwe as “a Pan Nigerian”, Tambawal said that he spoke with Wigwe on February 1, 2024, when Wigwe called him to ask after him and also extended an invitation to him to see his Wigwe University, but that was never to be as he died on February 9, 2024.

In his contribution, Senator Wadada Aliyu, SDP, Nasarawa West said that  Wigwe’s death is a loss to all Nigerians, not to the banking industry alone where he excelled by growing Access Bank to the enviable height it is today.

Wadada said “Herbert Wigwe leveraged on Polo in conjunction with 5th Chukker, Kaduna to build a school in Maraban Jos, Kaduna state and render assistance for the treatment of cancer to many.

Senator Ani Anthony, APC, Ebonyi South described the death of Wigwe, his wife and his son as a loss of three generations, adding that Wigwe was “a colossus of the sort, a philanthropist, giving scholarships to indigent students”

Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibrin simply described Wigwe as an “illustrious son of Nigeria”, adding that he first had contact with him at an Education launch in Kano during the tenure of Umar Ganduje as governor where Wigwe was the chief launcher and made the highest donation that day.

On his part, Senator Gbenga Daniel, APC, Ogun East said that Herbert Wigwe was “somebody we were all proud of”, adding that apart from Wigwe’s wife and son, who died in the crash, Nigeria also lost Mr. Abimbola Ogunbajo, another accomplished son.

Also speaking,  Senator Tokumbo Abiru, APC, Lagos East who went down memory lane on how he and Wigwe worked together at the Guaranty Trust Bank,  said that from both personal and professional life Wigwe had great accomplishments, took Access Bank beyond the shores of Nigeria. He admonished all to emulate his exemplary life.

In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio who described Wigwe as a Pan-Africanist who took Access Bank beyond Africa to the world, said, “the country, Africa, the world mourns. The people he gave scholarships to, the people he gave pilgrimage seats to mourn.”