Wigwe, Energy, Wealth and Mortality, By Dare Babarinsa

Wigwe, Energy, Wealth and Mortality, By Dare Babarinsa
Herbert Wigwe, the CEO of Access Holdings
Herbert Wigwe, the CEO of Entry Holdings


Wigwe, Energy, Wealth and Mortality

By Dare Babarinsa

So, Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe could be carried house like a person who has fallen on the warfare entrance. He was a special type of hero, with plenty of medals and plenty of scars. He gained many battles. He, like Admiral Horatio Nelson of Trafalgar, gained his final battle, however nonetheless fell. He couldn’t have believed that his story would finish so quickly. He had dashed out to the US along with his spouse Chizoba and his son, Chizi. They have been to look at the tremendous bowl of American soccer after which dashed house to renew the quick life and good cash they have been used to. Now, they’re coming house for the ultimate time to affix the corporate of the ancestors.

The dying of Wigwe on February 9 is a tragedy. He perished along with his spouse and son and his bosom pal, Mr Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former Group Chairman of the Nigerian Trade Group Plc. Abimbola was the son of iconic lawyer and businessman, the late Chief Chris Ogunbanjo. The youthful Ogunbanjo was a giant man whose dying would have been thought to be a nationwide tragedy. However Wigwe was a much bigger man and he misplaced extra. Ogunbanjo’s spouse and kids are nonetheless round to mourn him.
Wigwe was a phenomenon within the Nigerian banking trade. In reality, his exploits have been controversial, however he made good and lasting impacts. He was a goal-getter and a warrior of unusual prowess who was not within the behavior of capturing prisoners. He liked to win. His exploits related many main establishments within the up to date Nigerian banking historical past. Now he’s historical past.

He was a person on fireplace. He was born in 1966 in Ibadan and attended the College of Nigeria Nsukka, graduating with a level in accountancy in 1987 and have become a chartered accountant in 1989. He labored for 2 years with Cooper and Lybrand earlier than he received employed with the Assure Belief Financial institution, GTB, coming below the management of iconic banker, Fola Adeola. It was at GTB that he met his future and learnt the esoteric commerce of earning money. In that subject, he quickly turned an alchemist with the particular talent of turning something into gold. He was younger, relentless, sensible, daring and tireless. He received issues completed.
His bosses shortly recognised his urge for food for the massive recreation and so they thrusted him ahead. By 1998, he was already a administration employees of the financial institution and but wished extra. He was simply 32 and the fireplace in his stomach was roaring at full pressure. No promotion might fulfill him. He was an alpha male and wished his personal territory.

It was at this era that he and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede cast their spectacular friendship. Each of them have ferocious urge for food for fulfillment. They liked to make offers and so they have been the brand new carpetbaggers on the town. They didn’t have the type of scruple that will fear the standard bankers or restrain the outdated era. They have been the type of males that construct empires when the foundations are fluid and the prospects nice. To them what was necessary was victory. They have been fiercely loyal to one another. They have been one another.
Round 2010, I had wished to fulfill Imoukhuede, then the Managing Director of Entry Financial institution, for an necessary dialogue. The assembly was organized by a mutual pal. I couldn’t meet him however met as a substitute Wigwe, then the deputy M.D of Entry Financial institution. I complained to my pal that I couldn’t meet the M.D, however met Wigwe, his deputy, as a substitute.
“What’s the distinction?” my pal requested. “They’re the identical! No matter Wigwe tells you is what Imoukhuede would say!”

Wigwe and Imoukhuede turned twins of the identical soul. So, the sudden dying of Wigwe will need to have left his twin brother in deep mourning. Entry Financial institution supplied for them their first operational subject.

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The financial institution was initially owned by a gaggle of buyers led by Chief Abiodun Omole, a rich entrepreneur and son of the legendary late Chief Lawrence Omole of Ilesha. Omole additionally introduced in a few of his mates, together with Prince Tokunbo Aromolaran, to be a part of the dream when the financial institution obtained its licence in 1988. Entry Financial institution was listed on the Nigerian Inventory Trade in 1998.

In 2002, Wigwe and Imoukhuede have been in a position to purchase out Omole and his staff. How they did it isn’t clear until at the moment. Chief Omole is alive, however has stored mum about his misplaced jewel. The take-over solely whetted their urge for food for greater and higher targets. They might not relent. They have been quickly to have on their menu lists banks like Diamond Financial institution and Intercontinental Financial institution. Wigwe and Imoukhuede have been two sharks searching within the deep.
One leviathan within the deep was the Intercontinental Financial institution based by Erastus Akingbola, a swashbuckling company raider. It was a bitter combat and the ocean was filled with blood and Entry Financial institution wolfed the large Intercontinental Financial institution which for years had been weakened by inside dealings and corruption till the Central Financial institution waded in to reserve it from collapse. It was then the CBN offered the financial institution to Entry. Akingbola turned a king in exile attended by reminiscences of previous glory and the memorabilia of a misplaced court docket.

The battlefield is silent now, however the echo of the battle remains to be ringing in our ears whereas the moaning of outdated ghosts often hire the air. However Wigwe was decided to stay life to the fullest. He purchased a jet. He constructed a palace in Lagos. He went to his ancestral house to make peace along with his ancestors and provides a present to the generations. He was decided to offer again to the land the place his progenitors have been buried in historic graves and the place his panegyrics nonetheless recount the lore of outdated battles. The Wigwe College, Isiokpo, Rivers State, he informed his individuals, could be among the best on this planet. They knew he was proper as a result of Wigwe would by no means do something in half-measure. He mentioned it was his reward to them and to generations but unborn and he was decided to poured his assets into it. They by no means reckoned that in few weeks forward, their hero could be claimed by the deities like a burnt providing.

Wigwe’s spouse, the formidable Chichi, was the Managing Director of Craneburg, the first-class building firm. The Lekki-Epe Specific Highway stays a sworn statement to Craneburg’s political muscle and competence. Chizi, the 29-year-old son, was the crown-prince of a monetary empire of Catholic relevance.
It appears those that have been closest to Wigwe have been keen to verify that he would by no means return.

Few days after the crash in the US, Entry Financial institution introduced Bolaji Agbede as the brand new Group M.D to switch Wigwe in performing capability pending affirmation by the CBN. They might not even look ahead to the horrible information to be totally absorbed by Wigwe’s aged mother and father, Engineer Shyngle Wigwe and his spouse Stella. Few years in the past, the Wigwes had misplaced their eldest son, Osita. Now this.
Few days in a while February 25, Siju, the socialite spouse of Pastor Idowu Iluyomade of the Redeem Christian Church of God, RCCG, Metropolis of David parish, Lagos, gave a talk-of-the city sixtieth birthday celebration.

The irony was that the Wigwes have been maybe the best donor to the church and so they pay tithes in thousands and thousands. Siju’s celebration was sizzling and the glitterati of Lagos illuminated the place. It was solely simply 16 days after the Wigwes perished in the US. The Italians would say, “You want the loots of the troopers to maintain the monks on the temple!” Now the monks are dancing and making merry.

There isn’t a want to judge the Wigwe’s mates and colleagues on the financial institution or the merry-makers of the RCCG. Let the grieving households endure their second of profound sorrow. Wigwe lived a outstanding and impactful life. He was not good, however he was nice.

For the surviving youngsters, who turned orphans immediately, and the remainder of the household, one thing really large has struck them. Their hero had gone to battle; by no means to return. Let the useless, the valiant Wigwe, his beloved spouse and son and his nice pal, Ogunbanjo, depart in peace!

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