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Friendship Beyond Banking; Emir Sanusi pays heartfelt tribute to late Herbert Wigwe


Friendship Beyond Banking; Emir Sanusi pays heartfelt tribute to late Herbert Wigwe

In a poignant and touching testimony of the deep bond and generosity between the two, Emir Sanusi, with tears in his eyes, expressed his disbelief that he would outlive Wigwe.

The ex-Central Bank of Nigeria Governor disclosed this during the night of tribute for the 57-year-old, former Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, Herbert Wigwe.

He said: “It was on a Saturday, I had no idea about what happened.

I came to the airport waiting for a plane and I got a call from Bola Adeshola, and we were chatting. After two sentences, he said, “Lamido, you haven’t heard?” “About two years ago, I put all my savings into a Trust for the education of my children, I have many and my priority as a father is to make sure that when I pass away, they will have good education.

I told Herbert ‘I am placing you in charge of this Trust for the education of my children because I know that even if I die and do not leave any money, you will educate my children.

“I thought I would die before Herbert.”

“When I had problems in Kano, I called him about six months before I was to leave Kano, and I said to him, ‘Herbert I know you will give all your best to solve all these problems, but I am convinced that this is what is going to happen.’ And he said to me ‘your highness, don’t worry, whatever happens, don’t worry, we are here for you.’ “On the day I heard on the radio that I was dethroned, the night before it happened, I called and said I wanted to come to Lagos.

The announcement was made at about 9 a.m., noon, and Herbert had a plane at the tarmac in Kano. I put my family on that plane, no message, no phone call, I put them on that plane. Herbert received them, put them in a hotel, and later got them accommodation for months.

“When I came, we stayed there. Some people believe I own Access Bank and that AIG and Herbert are fronting for me.

They gave me the cars and the drivers, they gave me security and a private jet and they asked for nothing and they don’t talk about it. I have lived in Lagos for four years, and the house my family lives in was provided by Herbert.

“When I heard of his death, I said ‘in the coming weeks and months, people will get to know Herbert the human being’.

They know him as a banker, and as a businessman, they don’t know him as a human being.

He was always about others, not about himself. You can’t imagine how one human being could have been so many things to so many people. “On the day before this happened, I was on a chat group when somebody made a few remarks about Herbert that I found offensive, and I defended Herbert.

I made my point very clear that this was totally unacceptable. “A few days after Herbert died; a friend called me and sent me a message.

He sent a message to Herbert at about 3:20 am. that morning (day of the crash), telling him how I had stood up and defended him and forwarded my entire message to him.

‘’Herbert replied at 3:28 am. with one word ‘unbelievable’. He sent another message at 3:50, which was not delivered. From the presentation from the air traffic controllers, the crash happened at 3:30. So possibly, the last thing Herbert read was my message talking about him.”

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