Senators Extol Wigwe’s Virtues, Observe a Minute Silence in Honour of Late Access Holdings Boss

*Urge FG to collaborate with US to probe tragic crash

Sunday Aborisade in Abuja

The Senate Wednesday observed a minute silence in memory of the late Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe, who died in a helicopter crash in the United States on Friday.

Wigwe died in the crash along with his wife, Chizoba, and his son, Chizi.

The crash also claimed the life of the former Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group, Abimbola Ogunbanjo.

The Senate in a resolution passed after it considered a motion of urgent public importance moved by Senator Allwell Onyesoh (Rivers State), urging his colleagues to extol the virtues of Wigwe, called for a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the accident.

It specifically asked  the  Nigerian Government to collaborate with the US’ to ensure that thorough probe  was carried out..

The Senate further resolved to send a delegation to the burial of Wigwe when announced.

Several senators, in their contributions to the debate, commended  Wigwe for his exemplary lifestyle of professionalism and philanthropy.

Making his submissions, Senator Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto-South), described Wigwe as a “pan-Nigerian, and one of our best hands in the financial system of our dear country.”

Tambuwal recalled that Wigwe was born in Oyo State and had his secondary education at Federal Government College Sokoto.

He said, “While I was the  governor of my state, he visited me. He asked my uncles what he would do for them. They appealed to him to sponsor them to Hajj. He gave them 10 seats as a Christian, for them to go on Hajj. That was Herbert Wigwe for you.

“We spoke last on the 1st of February. He said he called to say hello to me because we had not seen each other for a while. He wanted me to visit him and inspect the Wigwe University project. Well,  that day will never come again”, Tambuwal added.

Senator Gbenga Daniel, in his contribution, said Nigeria had lost a personality that would be long to replace.

Daniel, a former governor of Ogun State, also drew the attention of his colleagues to the death of Abimbola Ogunbanjo in that helicopter crash

“We also lost in that accident, a very distinguished Nigerian, Abimbola Ogunbanjo. We mourn the Wigwes and Ogunbanjo, and we pray to God to grant their souls eternal rest”, he said.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Adetokunbo Abiru, spoke in a like manner, saying that Wigwe and Ogunbanjo were “brilliant professionals.”

On his part, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Ahmed Wadada, noted that Wigwe’s impact was felt beyond banking.

He recalled, “He was everywhere doing anything that could add value to humanity. He ventured into areas other people were afraid of.

“At one point, he wanted to acquire Afribank, which never worked. He later went on to acquire Intercontinental bank at a time nobody wanted to go close to that bank.

“He took Access Bank beyond Nigeria and wanted to acquire 65% of Standard Chartered Bank in Africa.”

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, summing up the debate, said Wigwe was a “pan-Africanist, who took Access Bank beyond the shores of Nigeria.”

He added, “He died along with his dear wife, son and another illustrious Nigerian, Abimbola Ogunbanjo.

“We can’t question God for all that happened. He paid school fees for indigent students, and Hajj fares  for people.”

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