Isiokpo Standstill as Dignitaries Honour Deceased Banking Icon, Wigwe, His Wife, Son

*Wigwe University will not be allowed to die, says VC

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

The funeral rites for the late Group Managing Director of Access Holdings, Dr. Herbert Wigwe; his wife, Chizoba and son, Chizi, continued yesterday, with a Christian wake that held in his home town, Isiokpo, which attracted dignitaries across the country as well from abroad.
Herbert Wigwe, his wife and son died last month in a helicopter crash in the United States of America, alongside a friend, Abimbola Ogunbanjo during the wake, dignitaries both from international, national and local attended the programme.

The service which was officiated by the Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG) started at 6:50pm and ended at about 9:26pm with vote of thanks from Herbert Wigwe’s sister, Stella Eresie-Eke.
In his sermon, Pastor in Charge of Region 33, Redeem Church of God South-South, David Adewuyi, admonished the audience on the need to prepare for life after death.

Noting the generous and philanthropic nature of late Wigwe which he said attracted thousands of delegates at the burial programmes, the clergy said “When the day of death comes no man has power over the spirit. When it is not yet your time to die, you can never die. But the moment it is your time, nothing can stop it.”
During the event, THISDAY observed the presence of dignitaries including, Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; his Ogun State counterpart, Dapo Abiodun; Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, and his deputy, Prof. Ngozi Odu; President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori; Minister of FCT, Nyesom Wike, presidential candidate of Labour in the 2023 general elections, Mr Peter Obi; former Governor of Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi; CEO, Cowry Assets, Johnson Chukwu; Tonye Cole, and several others.

Highlights of the service was the rendition of choruses by various Christian choirs both from Lagos and other parts of the country. Daughter of the deceased, Miss Tochi Wigwe, delivered the first biblical reading.
Vice Chancellor of the Wigwe University, Dr. Miles Davis, assured that the legacy of late Herbert Wigwe would not be allowed to die, saying that he and members of the Board of Trustees (BOTs) have agreed and promised to sustain the university no matter the sacrifices they need to put for its success.

Davis, pointed out that of all his investments, the late banking icon never attached his name to any of them except the university.
He disclosed that he had already promised the family of the deceased that he would ensure that the university was preserved, just as he called for support from the government and all those that loved the deceased bank chief.

Davis, also pointed out how Wigwe’s wife, Chizoba, supported her husband in achieving success in all his endeavours.
Explaining how he got involved in the university, the vice chancellor project, he said: “I had no idea that we will be carrying on a vigil without him. I remember vividly the first day that I landed in Nigeria.

“The next morning, Dr Herbert invited me to his home and talked about what they wanted to do.
“I am aware that Dr. Wigwe owned a lot of businesses. He was involved with a lot of things. There is one thing that has the Wigwe’s name in it and that is Wigwe University.

“I am here to assure you on behalf of the Board of Trustees, on behalf of the commitment that I made to Wigwe’s family, that in the words of Dr. Wigwe, we will keep his right. I am someone who was born in the United States, with very proud Nigerian ancestry. I am excited to say that what people will be proud of is Wigwe University.”
Speaking further, he said: “We are excited that you are here. We hope we are going to see you (the dignitaries) in the campus, we hope this is not the last time we are going to see you on the campus. I want to assure you that myself and all those who have worked so hard will make this thing happen for the pride of Nigeria, for the pride of Africa.”

Earlier yesterday, people of Ikwerre ethnic nationality in Rivers from different parts of the local government were in tears as they awaited the arrival of the remains of Herbert, his wife and son at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
The people in their traditional attires and songs lamented the exit of an illustrious son, saying they lost a selfless philanthropist. They followed the convoy of the corpse from the Airport to his hometown in Isiokpo, where they would be buried today.

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