Senate eulogises Herbert Wigwe


…Says his death is loss to Africa, the world

By Haruna Salami

Senate at its plenary on Wednesday paid glowing tribute to the late Herbert Wigwe, describing his death as loss, not only to Nigeria, but Africa and the world.

This was sequel to a motion brought to the Senate by Senator Onyesoh Allwell (Rivers East).

Allwell said 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 Bachelor degree in Accounting from 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 class mate at FGC, Sokoto said, late Chief Herbert Wigwe, though a Christian gave 10 Hajj seat to his people on one of his (Wigwe’s) many visits to the state.

Describing Wigwe as “a Pan Nigerian”, said he spoke with Wigwe on February 1, 2024, when Wigwe called him to ask after him and also extended 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 (Nasarawa West) said 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 school in Maraban Jos, Kaduna state and rendered assistance for the treatment of cancer to many.

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

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Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibrin simply described Wigwe as an “illustrious son of Nigeri”, 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 (Ogun East) said Herbert Wigwe was “somebody we were all proud of”, adding that apart from Wigwe’s wife and son , who died it ill the crash, Nigeria also lost Mr. Abimbola Ogunbajo, another accomplished son .

Senator Tokumbo Abiru (Lagos East) went down memory lane on how he and Wigwe worked together at the Guaranty Trust Bank. He said 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.

Rounding up the motion, Senate President, Godswill Akpabio said Wigwe was a Pan Africanist who took Access Bank beyond Africa to the world.

“The country, Africa, the world mourn. The people he gave scholarships to, the people he gave pilgrimage seats to mourn”, Akpabio said.

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

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