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June 25, 2024

Macron, Sanusi, family, others eulogise Wigwe at Night of Tribute

French President, Emmanuel Macron, has joined others to pledge the preservation of the legacies of late Group Chief Executive, Access Corporation, Dr Herbert Wigwe, to ensure his visions are actualised.

Macron made the pledge on Wednesday night at the ‘Night of Tributes’ in honour of Wigwe, in Lagos.

Macron represented by a former Minister of Culture, Franck Riester, said Wigwe took over as the President of the France-Nigeria Business Council in 2023 and had brought in several entrepreneurial innovations to strengthen the bilateral relationship.

He said that Access Bank was the first bank to open a subsidiary in France last year, adding that, “France was ever grateful for his caring friendship.

“I can assure you that we will do our best to keep his legacy alive and make his vision a reality,”

He reeled out achievements of the late economic and financial icon to include the Wigwe University, which showed Wigwe’s believe in youths in Nigeria, and Africa to change the narrative for speedy growth.

“France has lost a great friend in Herbert Wigwe,” he said.

Macron added that, France will never forget Wigwe.

Former CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi, narrated how Wigwe stood with him through thick and thin when he was deposed as the Emir of Kano, providing both financial and emotional support to stabilise him and his family.

Sanusi said he put Wigwe in trust of education of all his several children because of the commitment of the deceased to academic excellence and his great vision for the nation.

Sanusi who wept profusely, said, “I was thinking I will die and leave Hebert.

“Wigwe was selfless, always about other, not himself.”

According to him, he sacrificed so much for him, hisfamily, Nigerians and people from all walks of life.

“You never could have imagined how one human being can be so many different things to different people,” he said.

He expressed joy that Wigwe, in his last moment, had opportunity to know that he was loved by him.

Wigwe’s Personal and Technical Assistant, Mr Olusola Faleye, explained how he cheated death because he opted to take the family’s luggage ahead by road.

Faleye gave details of initial flights and how he later secured permission of his boss to continue to the next destination on road to avoid delays of trying to get out their luggage.

“I went up to him and said, “Sir, I think its safer and will be secured for me to just ride and bring the luggage to you. He said, brilliant idea, and I said safe flight,” he recalled.

Reeling out various ways Wigwe had impacted his life and brought transforming changes, Falaye said “he comes to you in times of storm and he rescues you”.

He said Wigwe was alive because of his numerous visions and achievements, saying, “I still see him, he lives, he’s just everywhere living because his dream is scattered everywhere, germinating and growing.”

Wigwe’s daughter, Tochi eulogising her dad, shared how close she was to the father who inspired, mentored and monitored her progress every step.

Weeping throughout her tribute, she expressed hope of seeing her father again in the after life, to catch up on gossips and several other moments.

Wigwe’s brother, Emeka, narrated episodes from their adventurous childhood and adulthood together saying, “I can’t see wrong in him”.

Wigwe’s sisters, cousins and other relatives took turns to express thier grief and the exciting moments with the departed legend.

The Board Chairman, Access Bank, Paul Usoro, led members of Access Bank from various branches in Nigeria, Cameron, Zambia and other African countries, to chant the Access slogan in a bid to let Wigwe know the Access Warriors were keeping his dreams alive.

Other dignitaries from across the globe and Nigeria also paid tributes. (NAN)

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