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Herbert Wigwe’s tributes were eye opening They were a rich lesson

Did you read this?

I received it from WhatsApp

Do you have a friend like Herbert Wigwe?

Herbert Wigwe’s tributes were eye opening

They were a rich lesson

The man was on a mission

He courted God and man

He was bold and tactful. Fearless was only a slogan

His elder sister corrected an impression

He didn’t start off brilliant at school

His father was on him

At university, he got his bearings right and started pushing for excellence

From the beginning he knew what he wanted to be

At Capital bank, he resigned because he didn’t want to be part of a mess

At the GTB, he courted oil executives and pulled a stunt

It took clubbing and dinning. He was intentional.

GTB pulled in the account of a major oil producing firm and Herbert received accolades for the exceptional feat

As he rose, he retained old friendships and cilvtivated new ones

Including a friendship with God. At the city of David, he showed committment in body, soul and spirit

He wasn’t satisfied being an executive director in the most polished and lucrative bank in the country by the year 2000.

He wanted to pull in resources and direct them to areas were society could be best impacted

So he had to own a bank

Contrary to widespread insinuation, none of the takeovers was malicious

He followed the rules, the legacy owners got their due rewards

ACCESS was small but principled and ambitious

At the outset

They played the corporate game like GTB

They didn’t do indiscriminate things like other small banks in 2002-2006

But they weren’t as aloof as GTB and a few others to retail banking

When Lamido Sanusi came, the hammer didn’t fall on them

So when some big banks flopped, they saw space to occupy

Most remarkable was Sanusi’s testimony

He used to visit her Herbert’s sister at home when he was a middle level officer at the UBA

But he attitude towards Herbert was professional respect for a high flying young man

Herbert would later become his confidant

When the Emir of Kano was dethroned, it was Herbert he ran to

Herbert sent a jet to Kano to collect his wives and children and property

Herbert received them in Lagos and put them in a hotel

Herbert gave them cars, cash and security

Then Herbert arranged a house and moved them in

Then Herbert told the Emir,

“Whatever you want, my HRH, wherever you want to travel to in the world, just tell my special assistant and consider it done.”

The Emir said he instuted a Trust for his children’s education

He had feared that if he died his children might suffer

He appointed the person he trusted the most to be the protector of the Trust

That person was Herbert, an Igbo man from Rivers

The tributes were revealing

Herbert father was a soldier in the Nigerian Army. At the break of the war, he fought for Biafra. After the war, he resigned from the Nigerian army, just like my late father in law.

At the highest levels in private life, the Nigerians in general don’t do tribalism. The Nigeria elite are a tribe on their own.

The tributes were eye opening

The City of David was conspicuously missing. That was another lesson. For the role Herbert played in church, the pastor of the city of David should have been at the center of the funeral. But the pastor and his wife betrayed the church.

Herbert had a mission to become a father of many nations

He adopted thousands of children

Osinbajo’s tribute was startling

They had been friend for many years, Yemi Osinbajo and Herbert Wigwe

When prof became VP, Herbert never went to him for help

Yet he called the VP often to inquire about his well being

When the VP was about leaving office, Herbert called him seeking to meet with him

The VP thought Herbert finally needed something

Herbert came to ask the VP what he planned to do after leaving office and how he, Herbert, could help him settle into private life again.

Amazing ‼️

At that meeting, Herbert took notes and followed Osinbajo up with more meetings.

So having helped Emir Sanusi settle, he wanted to help Osinbajo bear his burden.

Herbert was as compassionate as he was strategic in building and nurturing friendships

Dangote was his mentor. Aliko looked ghostly and sat out all the programmes in Lagos. But the usually taciturn Aliko Dangote also said the Herbert helped him navigate troubled waters in his business. At some point, the phelgmatic Aliko, crumpled and wept

So for Herbert coming to the aid or rescue of his friends was a better mission than frolicking with them

The real defintion of a true friend.

A friend in need.

Then can a son of the soil be truer?

He sought to build a Harvard University in West Africa

He took it to his village ‼️

Rest in Peace Herbert,, and Chizzy Wigwe.

Ugo Egbujo.

Rest on lcon !


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