Obi, Okonjo-Iweala, Onanuga mourn Access Bank CEO Herbert Wigwe

Enitan Daramola
Enitan Daramola

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 presidential election, Peter Obi, has mourned the Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe, who reportedly died in a helicopter crash in the United States.

AMBusiness reported that Wigwe, alongside five others, including his wife, and son, as well as the group chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, Abimbola Ogunbanjo.

Confirming the crash earlier, the US Federal Aviation Administration said, “A Eurocopter EC 130 helicopter crashed near Nipton, California, around 10 pm local time on Friday, February 9. Six people were on board.”

However, the US FAA did not disclose the identities of the six people said to be onboard.

Semafor, quoting an unnamed source to the Access Bank co-founder’s team reported that Wigwe was on his way to this weekend’s Super Bowl American football event which is taking place in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Condolence messages have since flooded X, formerly Twitter, just as Access Holdings maintains that there is no specific information on the crash.

The statement read, “We have received numerous inquiries concerning an airplane crash in the USA.

“Presently, we lack specific information; however, we are actively collaborating with US authorities who will furnish updates.

“Your understanding and support are valued, and we commit to keeping you informed promptly as we
receive updates on the situation.”

However, as Nigerians expect an official statement from the bank, Obi tweeted, “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.”

The former Anambra State governor was joined by the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi OkonjoIweala who wrote, “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.”

The special adviser on Information & Strategy to President President Bola Tinubu, Bayo Onanuga, also shared his condolences, as he described Wigwe’s death as a huge loss to Nigeria.

Onanuga wrote, “The death of Roosevelt Herbert Wigwe is a terrible blow for Nigeria and Africa’s banking industry. Wigwe had a big vision to make Access Holdings Africa’s biggest, with all the unquenchable thirst for acquisitions. He also made a mark in his community, by building a university, that he once told me will make a difference by focusing on entrepreneurship. He has now left all to return to his maker. May his soul rest in perfect peace. May the souls of his wife Chizoba, son and lawyer Abimbola Ogunbanjo, who died in the same ghastly copter crash in the California desert also rest in peace.”

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