Condolence messages have started to pour in after the reported tragic death of Herbert Wigwe, the Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, in a helicopter crash in California, United States, on Friday.
Wigwe, 57, his wife and son, as well as Bamofin Abimbola Ogunbanjo, the Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, (NGX Group) were among those feared killed when their helicopter went down in a Southern California desert near the Mojave National Preserve, reports Bloomberg.com.
Some prominent Nigerians, including the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, have expressed sadness over the unfortunate incident and sent sympathies to the families of the deceased persons.
Below are some of the condolence messages:
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.”
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.”
GOVERNOR GODWIN OBASEKI OF EDO STATE
“The news of the passing of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Access Bank Holdings, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, who died in a helicopter crash in the United States of America, has left me extremely shocked and devastated.
“We also unfortunately lost Wigwe’s wife and son as well as the former group chairman of Nigeria Stock Exchange, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, in the crash.
“The tragic incident is painful and heart-wrenching, and we pray for God’s abiding comfort in this profoundly difficult time.
“Wigwe was a colossus in Nigeria’s financial sector, leading Access Bank to become an international brand that placed Nigeria on the global map of first-class financial services.
“I commiserate with the Wigwe family, the Ogunbanjo family, Access Bank Holding, the Nigeria Stock Exchange, friends and associates, and pray that God will grant all the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
KASHIFU ABDULLAHI, NITDA DG
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of Herbert Wigwe, CEO of Access Holdings Plc, who passed away tragically in a helicopter accident. A visionary leader, Herbert’s passion extended beyond finance; he was profoundly committed to supporting Nigerian youth. Through The HOW Foundation, he dedicated himself to empowering the next generation, and his efforts to establish Wigwe University showcase his unwavering belief in the transformative power of education. Herbert’s legacy of nurturing young minds and fostering educational opportunities will continue to inspire us. Our thoughts are with his loved ones during this time. Rest in peace, Herbert. Your impact will not be forgotten.”
Herbert Wigwe: ‘Terribly Saddened’ — Okonjo-Iweala, Atiku, Obaseki, Others Mourn Access Holdings CEO is first published on The Whistler Newspaper