Mayor Of Housing, My-ace China Calls For Immortalization Of Wigwe
Mayor of Housing, My ACE-China, believes that Dr Herbert Wigwe, who died in a tragic air crash in the United States of America at the weekend, can be made to live on.
The investor and real estate success strategist also said the deaths of some legends can be turned to gains.
He thus said the financial icon is not dead yet, except his vision and projects were allowed to die.
Mr China was reacting to the spreading shock of the death of the CEO of Access Corporation along with his wife and son in a chopper crash in the US on Saturday, February 10, 2024.
The deaths of Wigwe and those of two other occupants of the helicopter have been confirmed by US aviation authorities and Access Corporation in Nigeria.
Wigwe was a honed accountant who began his career in the highly tested and trusted Coopers & Lybrand Associates, a global company of Chartered Accountants, from where he joined the Guaranty Trust Bank and worked for over a decade before joining Access Bank.
He forged a close association and partnership with Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and some other top brains.
The Mayor of Housing however says the best approach to this tragedy is to turn it into positives by looking up Wigwe’s visions and legacies and cementing them further to make him live on.
In a statement in Port Harcourt, the Mayor of Housing and CEO of the Housing & Construction Mayor Limited, said he has looked up Wigwe’s partners and those associated with his dreams so as to galvanize them into making the dreams of the legend to live on.
He said: “Immediately after news of the crash in the US and the passing of the high profile Nigerian CEO and Rivers-born Dr Herberth Wigwe, I started looking up his partners, those associated with his dreams, and the construction partners at the Wigwe University. I know that men of vision, or legends, don’t die until their legacies die. So, Dr Herberth Wigwe is not dead, yet.
“So, I immediately started looking up those whose onus and opportunity it is to sustain his dreams and make sure that Dr Herberth Wigwe does not die.”
He stated that Dr Herberth Wigwe will die the day Wigwe University is dead; the day Access Bank stops being a leading financial institution in the world; the day all the wonderful partnerships he has brokered between Access Holdings and other companies globally and in Africa die; or the day all the acquisitions by Access Holding he has helped to acquire die.”
He insisted that Access Holding is not a one-man dream, the Wigwe University concept is not a one-man dream, Herberth Wigwe is not a lone-man project, that he has got partners, and that he has got associates. “The onus is on them to ensure that the dreams do not die.”
Enumerating three ways Wigwe could possibly die, Mr China stated: “If they let his vision die, then they have actually let him die; if they let his visions live and succeed, they have let him live; and if they propagate and exponentially build these dreams beyond the wildest imaginations of Herberth Wigwe himself, they would have not only made him live but they would have immortalized him and his legacies.”
He recalled his quotes about legends and death thus: “I have a quote that says legends don’t die, they only live as long as their legacies last. Herberth Wigwe is not dead but he has left us a legacy of excellency, a legacy of performance, a legacy of visionary leadership, a legacy of exponential partnership, and a legacy of resilience in the face of hardship. All we can do is to put hands together to make sure Herberth Wigwe doesn’t die the real death.”
So, he declared, all associates, all customers of Access Bank, all workers, everybody that is associated in keeping his legacies alive, they must rally round and make sure this legend does not die.
“All I say is Herberth Wigwe is not dead, but if we want him to die, we let his dreams die. If we make his dreams live, he lives, but if we allow his dreams die, he then dies. If we make his dreams live beyond his wildest imaginations, then we would have made him live and live. So, let’s make Herberth Wigwe live.”
The Mayor of Housing said he did not meet Wigwe face to face but that he has met some of his staff that revealed much about him, his visionary leadership, and his striving for excellence. “I don’t know a lot but I know of one thing that is required to be a leader; the only way to lead is by example. One thing I have heard about Herberth Wigwe that I hold dearly is that he asks you to do one 10 things, he does 12. That shows he is a leader that acts in the front.
“We have other leaders that dish out command from the back but would not do one tenth of what they ask you to do. But Dr Herberth Wigwe is a performance-leader and such species of homo sapiens are rare. In fact, if we live the life of the likes of Dr Herberth Wigwe, we would not be busy weeping, but if we strive to sustain his dreams and legacies, he would then live on.”
Isiokpo deserted as shock spreads
Meanwhile, in the first 48 hours after the news of the tragedy hit Isiokpo, the roads became empty. The community leaders began to speak of the pains of the news of their son who they said had employed over 5000 youths.
Now, his tragic death along with some members of his family has led to major roads and streets being deserted in Isiokpo, the traditional headquarters of Ikwerre ethnic nationality and headquarters of Ikwerre local council area of Rivers.
Shops were closed and other businesses under lock and key since news spread over the death of their son, Dr Herberth Wigwe, founder of the world class institution of higher learning, the Wigwe University.
Newsmen who visited the community found Clusters of men and women wearing gloomy faces dotted the entrance to family houses along the road, muttering sorrowful words. Youths dressed in blacks marched in procession, reciting traditional dirge common among the Isiokpo communities to register their sorrows and the depth of their grief for the irreparable loss. That was the only sound that could be heard asides that trickling from the churches along the road, across Umuike Community, home of the deceased CEO of Access Holdings.
Some residents of the community who spoke in an interview, described the death of Wigwe as a tragedy not just for the Umuike community, the ancient Kingdom of Isiokpo and Rivers State, but for the entire business community and the world at large.
One of the residents, Mr Nsirim Samuel, an indigene of Umuike Community lamented that the death of the renowned banker and businessman said the news sent a shock waves that kept the entire community awake and weeping all of Saturday night. Everyone in the community has remained uncontrollable.
Another resident, Wisdom Chijioke, said the entire community is mourning because Wigwe was a man who brought Isiokpo from darkness to the limelight, an enviable height never imagined by the people. He stressed that the community, Isiokpo, Rivers State and the country were bleeding.
Chijioke called on the international community and the Government of United States of America to investigate and tell the world what was responsible for the crash, saying that the people of Isiokpo would speak on the matter at the appropriate time.
Speaking on the development, the Youth Chairman of Umuike Community in Isiokpo, Mr Elechi Nyeche, said the community is in a state of mourning as the Access Bank CEO was at the forefront of the drive for development of the community.
He went further to lament the negative impact of Wigwe’s demise saying that it has truncated the massive academic and economic programmes driven by Wigwe.
The Mayor of Housing however said these lamentations and gloom can be turned to boom if the right things would be done and efforts made to exponentially improve upon what Dr Wigwe started by applying the exact blueprint that must be available for the development of the various institutions he established.
Don’t let the Wigwe University die – Gov Fubara
Gov Sim Fubara of Rivers State seems to join the call not allow the Wigwe University die.
The governor however expressed shock at the news of the demise of Dr Herbert Wigwe, his wife Chizoba, son and others in a helicopter crash in California near the Nevada border, USA. The governor described the incident as a monumental disaster. He moved quickly to demand that the young university be not allowed to die.
Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara
Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara
The Governor said there were no words to convey how terrible these losses were, and the state and indeed Nigeria would miss an unassuming, iconic, and accomplished illustrious son of Isiokpo in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Rivers State and the nation are in tears because it would be extremely difficult to understand this sweeping loss of a family involving a strong pillar, accomplished banker and philanthropist with tentacles in the education sector”, the Governor said, noting that the prestigious Wigwe University which he pioneered must not be allowed to die.
credit: BARBARA KALU.