President Bola Tinubu, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’ governors  and Board of Directors of Access Holdings Plc have  mourned the death of Wigwe in  a helicopter  accident.

 Tinubu, in a   statement   by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, also said the passage of Abimbola Ogunbanjo, Wigwe’s wife and son was shocking.  

He   described the crash  that took away two senior members of the Nigerian business community  as “an overwhelming tragedy that is shocking beyond comprehension..”

The statement reads: “After receiving an official confirmation of events, President Bola Tinubu received with shock and deep distress the news of the passing of Mr. Herbert Wigwe, top banker and entrepreneur, and Mr. Abimbola Ogunbanjo,  , former group chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, along with members of the Wigwe family.

Mr. Herbert Wigwe, CON, was the group chief executive officer of Access Holdings Plc and founder of the How Foundation.

“President Tinubu mourns these exceptional Nigerian business leaders and describes their passing as ‘an overwhelming tragedy that is shocking beyond comprehension.

“The President condoles with the Wigwe and Ogunbanjo families, the business community, and all those impacted by this harrowing incident.

“President Tinubu prays for the peaceful repose of the departed and asks God Almighty to comfort the multitude of Nigerians who are grieving and the families of the deceased at this deeply agonizing moment.”

Olayemi Cardoso, governor of the CBN in a terse statement, also condoled  the Wigwe and the  Ogunbanjo families.

Cardoso prayed for the repose of the souls of the deceased.

He wrote” “Our profound condolences to the Wigwe family and Access Holdings on the passing of the co-founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, his wife, Chizoba, and son, Chizi, alongside Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group, in the United States of America, on February 9, 2024.

“May their souls rest in peace.”

 Access Holdings Plc board of directors which   formally announced demise of its GCEO,  expressed its “deep and sincere sympathies” to  the Wigwe family.

It described Wigwe as “a key driving force and a larger-than-life personality” with a “vast business experience.”

In a statement, the  board  said: “The entire Access family mourns the loss of Herbert, Doreen and Chizi. We extend our deep and sincere sympathies to his family and loved ones. Dr. Wigwe was a key driving force and a larger-than-life personality who brought his remarkable passion, energy, and experience to the transformation of the Access franchise since joining the Bank in 2002.”

The statement also quoted the Chairman of Access Holdings,    Abubakar Jimoh,  as saying:  “The Access Family has suffered a major loss with the passing of Wigwe who was a great friend and fine gentleman. He had a prodigious intellect, admirable personal qualities, and vast business experience which he brought to bear on the Access Family and for which we owe him a debt of gratitude.

“We remain confident that the Access Group will build further on Dr. Wigwe’s legacy of growth and operational excellence.

The  company  also    announced that it would soon announce  an acting Group Chief Executive Officer to replace   Wigwe.

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