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UPDATED: Emotions, tears as hundreds attend Herbert Wigwe, wife and son’s burial, outing service in Rivers + Photos

Photo Collage of Some Scenes at Herbert Wigwe, Wife and Son's Burial Ceremony, in Isiokpo, Rivers State of Nigeria

*Nigerians, state governors, other top government functionaries, and captains of industry attended the burial programme of late Dr. Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe, CFR (August 15, 1966 – February 9, 2024), his wife, Chizoba (nee Nwuba), and son Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Omueke, Isiokpo, in Rivers State, South-South Nigeria

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

It was an emotion-laden ceremony as late Dr. Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe CFR (August 15, 1966 – February 9, 2024), his wife, Chizoba (nee Nwuba), and son, Chizi, were buried Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Omueke, Isiokpo, Rivers State, South-South Nigeria.

ConsumerConnect reports throngs of Nigerians, state governors, other top government functionaries, and captains of industry attended the burial programme in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.

Late Herbert Wigwe (middle), his wife, Chizoba and son, Chizi

It is recalled Wigwe, his wife and son alongside Mr. Abimbola Ogunbanjo, ex-Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), as well as two pilots, all died February 9 this year, in the crashed Airbus Helicopter EC 130B4 with registration number N130CZ, near Halloran Springs, California, in the United States (US).

Among the dignitaries at the event in Isiokpo at the weekend are Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Sim Fubara (Rivers); Mr. Peter Obi, ex-Governor of Anambra State and Presidential Candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, former Governor of Ekiti State, and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Ex-Amir of Kano, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, his business partner and family, among several others.

Funeral outing service held Sunday, in Isiokpo

Likewise, an outing service held Sunday, March 10 for late Herbert Wigwe, his wife, Chizoba, and son, Chizi who were buried in the late businessman’s hometown Omueke, Isiokpo, in Rivers State.

R-L: Governors Sanwo-Olu, Abiodun; ex-Emir of Kano Sanusi Lamido; Aliko Dangote, Dr. Fayemi and Mr. Obi at the funeral in Isiokpo, Rivers State

The service, which took place at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Lion of Judah Parish, in Isiokpo, equally attracted several important personalities, including Nigerian Senate President Godswill Akpabio; Chief Nyesom Wike, FCT Minister; business leader Aliko Dangote, HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II, Gov. Alex Otti, Gov. Dapo Abiodun, former Senate President Bukola Saraki; Gov. Babajide Sawno-Olu, former Anambra State Gov. Peter Obi, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi and other notable captains of industry.

Other dignitaries in attendance at the service were Rivers State Governor Sim Fubara and State Commissioner of Police Olatunji Disu, who was the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the burial ceremony.

Wigwe was Nigerian banker and businessman, who later rose from the ranks to co-establish and become the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of Access Bank Holdings Plc, one of Nigeria’s top five banking institutions, in January 2014, after succeeding his business partner, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.

He had started his career at Coopers & Lybrand and Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) before joining Access Bank in 2002 as the company’s Deputy Managing Director (DMD. January 2014.

Vice-President Shettima, others grace Wigwes’ night of tributes

Earlier on the night of tributes for the deceased in Lagos, Nigerian Vice-President (Sen.) Kashim Shettima Wednesday, March 6, 2024, led the country to mourn former Chief Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of Access Holdings Plc, and his family, who tragically died in a helicopter crash in the United States (US) recently.

Nigerian Vice-President Kashim Shettima (l), Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, and other participants during the ‘Night of Tributes’ held in Lagos

Senator Shettima, in a lyrical eulogy, described late Wigwe as an early bloomer, who transformed the Nigerian banking industry, recalling his visionary leadership and unwavering dedication to his community.

Shettima, while addressing a crowd of mourners in Lagos during the funeral service of the late banker in a statement, had said: “Herbert left us in winter before the season of bloom. Spring was just about to arrive at his last location, the United States when the Lord called for him.

“Spring is not the symbol of Herbert’s bloom; his journey was defined by peculiar seasons. He bloomed long before his co-travellers.

Cross-sections of particpants in the Outing Service held Sunday, March 10, at RCCG, in Isiokpo, Rivers State

He also stated: “This spring, for us, isn’t the season of festive flowers; it’s the season of wreaths. This spring, for us, isn’t a season of tears; it’s a celebration of Herbert’s flight to a height that only a few of God’s chosen ones have attained.”

Delivering his speech titled, “Herbert Wigwe: The Flower That Bloomed Before Spring,” the VP highlighted Wigwe’s early successes, his dream of building the “Harvard of Africa,” and his commitment to leaving a lasting legacy.

The Vice-President further said: “Herbert, though an early bloomer in the garden of life, didn’t share the fate of those who faded away prematurely. His narrative was one of triumph. He conquered all there was to conquer.”

Shettima stated he also regretted the tragic loss of Wigwe’s wife, son, and others, describing the loss as a collective grief felt by many and a “fading fragrance of a garden that touched lives far beyond its borders”.

He, however, urged Nigerians to celebrate “the divine miracle that was the lives the deceased lived.”

“The spread of this grief that binds us is so because they cultivated a garden of success,” stated he.

The Vice-President noted: “Their achievements were not just individual triumphs but testaments to the collective strength of those they touched, those they built, and those they inspired.

“The journey of our departed brothers and sisters may have ended in a distant land, but their spirits linger in the hearts of everyone here and beyond.

“May Herbert’s legacy continue to bloom in the hearts and minds of those who strive for greatness.”

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