Prominent Nigerians, including Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Peter Obi, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party, and former vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, expressed their heartfelt condolences over the reported tragedy involving Herbert Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc.
Multiple reports said Wigwe, his wife, son, and three others, including Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former chairman of NGX Group Plc, were feared dead when their helicopter crashed near the border of California and Nevada on Friday night.
The news has deeply saddened many, and messages of sympathy and support have poured in from various quarters.
Here are some of the messages of sympathy:
NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA, WTO DG
“Terribly saddened by the news of the terrible loss of Herbert Wigwe , Group CEO Access Bank @HerbertOWigwe , his wife and son as well as Bimbo Ogunbanjo in a helicopter crash. My deepest sympathies and condolences to the Wigwe family, the Ogunbanjo family, Access Bank Group employees and Management @myaccessbank and my younger Brother Herbert’s partner Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede. May the souls of the departed rest in perfect peace.”
ATIKU ABUBAKAR, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA
“In the words of one of Nigeria’s finest CEOs, Herbert Wigwe, “Today and always, let us remember that life is a precious gift – a chance to breathe, feel, love, experience and connect. Let’s honour this gift by living with purpose, kindness, and gratitude, making every moment count. Let us number our days.”
“I’m deeply saddened to hear about the unfortunate incident that led to the loss of Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, and his family. Indeed, Herbert Wigwe, consummate banker, education promoter, and philanthropist, numbered his days. On behalf of my family, my heart goes out to their loved ones and everyone affected by this unfortunate incident. May their souls rest in peace.”
PETER OBI, FORMER ANAMBRA STATE GOVERNOR
“I’m deeply saddened by the tragic news of the passing of my dear friend, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, CEO of Access Holdings, along with his wife and son, and another close friend, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former group chairman of NGX Group.
“This loss is profoundly felt across the nation. I first met Herbert during his early days, on the brink of starting his marital journey.
“I vividly remember assisting him in preparing for his traditional wedding and being there for the ceremony with his wife, Chizoba, from Achina, Anambra State. Since then, I’ve maintained a connection to his endeavours in my own modest ways.
“Herbert, a determined and forward-thinking individual, led Access Bank to new heights following his brother Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.
“The loss of such an exceptional individual reminds us of life’s fleeting nature, encouraging us to live with a purpose that contributes to the betterment of humanity. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with Herbert, his beloved wife, his son, and all those who lost their lives in the tragic plane crash.
“May God grant them eternal rest and provide strength to Herbert’s family, Access Holdings, and all of us mourning this irreplaceable loss.”
FESTUS KEYAMO, MINISTER OF AVIATION
“The reported tragic loss of my friend, brother and not-far-away neighbour in Lagos, Herbert Wigwe, the co-founder of Access Bank, the CEO of Access Holdings and the founder of Wigwe University, is very devastating. He was in my office earlier this week (where we took the pictures below) and actually left my office to fly out of the country and never came back. I am also shocked to learn his wife, son and other friends were involved in this tragedy.
“We were on the verge of announcing something big for the aviation sector, the reason he actually came to the office with his entire team, both from Access and Wigwe University. This is surreal and I am lost for words.
“May Almighty God comfort his aged parents and sibling (who were also my neighbours in Lagos for many years as a very young lawyer in Anthony Village), his immediate family members, his staff, friends across Nigeria and dependents.”
GOVERNOR UBA SANI OF KADUNA STATE
“I received with shock and deep sense of loss the news of the passing on of the Chairman/CEO of Access Corporation (one of Kaduna State’s development partners), Mr. Herbert Wigwe, CFR.
“Nigeria has lost one of its most innovative and creative entrepreneurs. He not only led Access Bank to become a global brand, he developed Access Corporation into a veritable vehicle for addressing developmental challenges. He established Wigwe University to equip Nigerian youths with the skills of competing in a complex and fast changing world. Herbert Wigwe’s worthy legacies will surely endure.
“On behalf of the government and people of Kaduna State, I wish to extend my sincere condolences to the Wigwe Family, his relations, friends, business associates, members of Corporate Nigeria, and all Nigerians on the demise of this globally acclaimed banker and entrepreneur. May Herbert Wigwe’s soul rest in perfect peace.”