US Agencies To Begin Probe On Access Bank CEO, Herbert Wigwe Helicopter Crash

Lamentations: A Message To God Through Herbert Wigwe – Prof. Nsereka

4 months ago
4 mins read

Uncle Herbert Wigwe! Tee Wigwe! You will recall that on November 21, 2023, you lost the chairman of the Board of Directors of Access Holdings, Bababode Osunkoya, a sing-song name in the accounting industry with over three decades of professional experience. The incident hit you so hard you sobbed, cried, melted and dissolved into tears, almost refusing to be consoled. While your sorrowing over the passing of Osunkoya lasted, the claws of death were again upon the neck of the head of Media Relations, Access Holdings, Abdul Imoyo. His remains were committed to earth on January 18, 2024. Only twenty-one days after the burial of Imoyo, Sir, who are dead again? You, Herbert Wigwe, who recently told your kinsmen that in the whole of Africa, there was not going to be any university like Wigwe University in Isiokpo, Rivers State, our own Rivers State; your wife, Chizoba; your son and the Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, Abimbola Ogunbanjo. Just like that!

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When I saw you address the people of Isiokpo concerning the benefits that would accrue from the Wigwe University to the community including employment and admission for their children, I saw in you humility, I saw in you love and I saw in you commitment to lifting many of your people from their low estate and setting them up among those who would call the shots in their part of Rivers State. I realized that amidst the wind of evil which has blown in Nigeria across politics, business, religion, education and socio-economic spheres of life, there are remnants of citizens, including your humble but mighty self, who qualify as great leaders, men of stature. You were selfless, benevolent, humane, administratively astute, prudent, managerially gigantic and spiritually alert. From all indications, your desires were placed behind your dreams and under God, you had done and were still doing your best, for your people, Rivers State and Nigeria as a whole.

Please Sir, I have a message to our Almighty Father through you. When you get atop the hills from whence comes our help, let the creator of the universe know that whereas Rivers people, nay, Nigerians, are neck-deep in sins and iniquities from which many are struggling to break loose, they still need good people like you; they need the grace and favour to have their people-minded and selfless relatives, kinsmen or countrymen living to their ripe old age. Please tell him that you are just 58. God, what offence have your children in Rivers State committed that Hebert and his could not be spared for us?

Uncle Herbert, kindly tell God, even the omniscient One, about the state of the Nigerian nation. Tell him that Nigeria is sick; that it is morally decrepit and its moral plane is littered with the debris of greed, indiscipline and corruption. Experience has shown that a great many Nigerian leaders have not been able to tame their greed – the urge to acquire more and more even when they have had enough to take care of themselves several lifetimes over. The looting syndrome in Nigeria has reached the stage of “show business”. It is a case of grab all that could be grabbed and leave the country poorer than you met it. The participants in this show of shame and disgrace are, in the main, persons whose kernel some benevolent spirit had cracked for them, not the ones who were born without even a wooden spoon in their mouth.

Tell him that our social landscape reeks with insecurity, banditry, barbarism and cannibalism. Tell him that the political atmosphere in Rivers State smells foul of turbulence, acrimony and disharmony; that many Nigeria’s political leaders are displaying attitudes that lower the altitude of governance, resulting in administrative ineptitude, lack-lustre performance and ignominious practices. Tell him that the business environment and industrial world where you belonged are in the doldrums owing to mis-prioritization of values. Tell him that in Nigeria, the monkeys and pythons which swallow billions of Naira and which people are forbidden from chasing are alive and healthy; that in the country you left behind, monies stolen from the country’s commonwealth are shared in billions of naira to satisfy the materialistic appetite of the insatiable elements among us and the masses are expected to be patient because their cries have been heard and what ails them have been noted. Tell him that monies are kept in cemeteries with the dead as security guards; that a building in any Nigerian city could be devoted to saving stolen money for the thief to come nicodemusly and collect its piecemeal.

Please don’t forget that in the country you left behind our judicial institutions are jaundiced, our legislative places lethal and our ultimate executive causes excruciating pain to citizens, especially the masses. Tell him that our crude oil and other natural bestowments are depleted, their proceeds having been wasted on vanities. Yet the Wigwes of this world who could help revive the economy to make the country great again are in a very short supply in Nigeria and lacking in Rivers State.

Tell him that if not for anything else, he should keep people like you around because of the great burden on your shoulders, the burden of tackling poverty, hunger and starvation which was your heartbeat before you suddenly found yourself in his presence. Tell him that because of hunger, some Nigerians are selling some of their children for a few naira just to eat a couple of times before they probably die or to use the proceeds to feed the rest of the children. Tell him that some may soon grind their infants in a mortar to death and process their corpses as meals for a couple of days. Tell him that stricken by sorrow, grief and heaviness of heart caused by hunger, many are today on the streets.

But uncle, why did you hurry that much along with your family members into the twilight of eternity. Why? What about Access Bank, Access Holdings and Wigwe University, the university which was supposed to provide about 2000 employment opportunities? What about the church in whom you were well pleased and cared so much for? What about your surviving family members? What about the other people far from and near to you who depended on you for their existence, can they cope or they should also come your way?

As I end these questions and await the answers, let me remind you to remind our God again that Rivers State lacks people like you and he has to do something about it. And in case Rivers State, Nigeria and the world have actually lost you, Uncle Herbert, please fare well, do have your repose in the Lord’s bosom and may God grant us the strength, the fortitude, to bear your permanent absence from this side of eternity until we meet on the resurrection morning, to part no more. Good night!


Barigbon Nsereka, a Professor of Development Communication and Journalism, is the Head, Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.




Barigbon Nsereka


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