Fubara, Lulu-Briggs, Ken Etete, Others Mourn Wigwe

•Rivers govt pledges to immortalise Herbert Wigwe’s legacies 

•Etete: He was our beacon, steadfast and true

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

Rivers State government yesterday, said it was working towards immortalising some of the legacies of its illustrious son, late Herbert Wigwe who died in helicopter crash last month in California, USA.

The State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, who made this known Tuesday evening, during a tribute night organised for the late Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, said Wigwe lived an impactful life, affecting society positively.

Fubara, said based on Wigwe’s contribution to humanity, his administration was determined to immortalise him as a worthy son of the State.

THISDAY gathered that the tribute night was organised by the Port Harcourt City One Love Family, to celebrate and eulogise the life of late banker, who was killed in the crash alongside his wife and son.

Speaking at the event, Fubara described as double loss the death of Herbert Wigwe, first as an in-law, and second as a trail blazing son of the state who exhibited daring spirit known of Rivers people in pursuit of their dreams and became successful in his career with reckonable social impact.

He said: “I have come to understand something about life, those that God has favoured, blessed and truly cherish, he does not like them to stay too long on earth because he doesn’t want them to get corrupted.

“But the wicked ones, the cruel, that you are praying to die, will stay and they will not die. So, you should understand that what has happened to our brother and his family, is truly painful to everyone.”

The governor said no matter the wealth acquired, in death, nothing would be taken along and advised that people live life of value and be at peace with people they encounter daily.

“So, it is for us to appreciate the mystery of life”.

Fubara, also enjoined members of the Port Harcourt One Love Family to uphold and continue with those social impact endeavours that late Herbert Wigwe devoted his time to.

In his tribute massage at the event, the Chairman, Platform Petroleum Ltd. and governorship candidate of Accord in the 2023 general elections in the state, Dumo Lulu-Briggs said, “I was always going to be difficult to encapsulate, in a few words who Herbert was and who Herbert is. I choose my words very deliberately because Herbert will always live in our hearts.

“Herbert was a very effective communicator. You left his presence knowing forever that you met him. He makes himself clear with the fewest words and tiniest body language possible.

“He knew what he wanted to do and how he was going to get it done and, of course, in measurable time. Herbert was set in his way, which was the big and mighty way. Yes, Herbert Wigwe was large and will forever be large in our hearts”.

Chairman of the Port Harcourt One Love Family, Amb. Idaere Gogo Ogan, said the death of Wigwe caused him an unbearable and lamentable pain.

He, however, noted that in their grief, God provided strength and they were honouring a man who was a pillar and a potent force in Port Harcourt City and selflessly committed his time and resources to promote the state and offered enduring help to so many persons.

Also in attendance were the former governor of the state, Celestine Omehia and many sons and daughters of Rivers under the auspices of the Port Harcourt City One Love family, who also delivered their tribute massages at the event.

For Ken Etete, Wigwe’s demise has left profound sadness in those who knew him. He wrote in his glowing and emotional to to him. Excerpts:  “In life’s vast journey, few souls illuminate the paths of others as brilliantly as Herbert Wigwe did. Herbert was not just a figure of success in the banking world; he was the embodiment of what it means to be a genuine mentor and a guiding light for all who were fortunate enough to cross his path.

For decades, my relationship with Herbert and his family has been one of deep friendship, respect, and mutual support. From the moment our lives intertwined, Herbert assumed the role of a big brother—far before his name became synonymous with banking excellence. He possessed an innate ability to guide and push me gently yet firmly towards my greatest potential. His insistence on partnering with one of the world’s finest accounting firms was not just advice but a directive for growth, showing his unwavering belief in doing what was best for our collective success.

His greatness was such that I consciously maintained a respectful distance, not out of aloofness but to preserve the profound respect and admiration I had for him. The question of “Why now?” weighs heavily on our hearts as we grapple with the void left by Herbert’s departure. His loss is not just personal but a collective bereavement for all who knew him and were touched by his magnanimity. Herbert, alongside his beloved Chizoba and the promising legacy of Chizi, has left an indelible mark on our lives—a legacy of love, leadership, and unwavering support.

Herbert was a mentor, a motivator, a charismatic leader, and above all, a cherished big brother. His legacy is one of inspiration, a blueprint for excellence, and a reminder of the profound impact one individual can have on the lives of many.

Herbert, our beacon, steadfast and true, Beyond acclaim, a brother, our guide through and through. With wisdom profound, you charted the course,

Nudging us forward, a gentle, unwavering force. “Strive for excellence,” your constant advice, A creed by which we soared, crossing skies.

Your affection, not merely words but deeds profound, A narrative of legacy, in our hearts resound. In reverence, I kept a space, your aura to preserve, In quiet moments, your wisdom I’d quietly observe.

Confiding in Emeka when shadows fell, “Seek his counsel,” he’d gently tell, with stories to dwell.

Your departure, with your beloved Chizoba And the embodiment of your legacy, Chizi, leaves us grappling with the silence of your light, A void echoing with the depth of night.

In our souls, your essence forever cast, Your spirit, a lighthouse, illuminating our life. Bound since ’92, through joy and through strife.


Ken Etete

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