One thing, believed to be common with unknown gunmen, was their less regard or value for life. Always associated with having no consideration for life. Not attaching any importance to life.
The way and manner, the management of Access Holdings Plc, has handled the unfortunate demise of their Group Chief Executive officer (GCEO), Herbert Wigwe, have also shown that banks, could have “unknown UNGUN-MEN”. Folks who have no value or regard for life. Men and women who value position, more than human or life.
The story, that was also confirmed, had been that, Herbert Wigwe, with the wife, Doreen Chizoba and their son, Chizzy, died Friday night, in a helicopter crash, in California, United States.
Friday was February 9, 2024. By Sunday, February 11, 2024, the bank came up with a statement, confirming the ugly incident.
ln the same Statement, confirming the death of Wigwe, which was signed by Sunday Ekwochi, the Group Company Secretary, the Bank equally informed that the Board would meet to announce the “appointment of Wigwe’s replacement”.
ln other words, the management of the bank could not mourn the death of its GCEO for a day before talking about his replacement. The management of Access Bank Plc, could not announce the demise of their Group Chief Executive officer in a statement and talk about his replacement, in another statement, perhaps, the following day, since they were in a hurry.
They felt that announcing his death was as important as announcing his replacement. I do not know how the death of someone could be celebrated, except what the management of Access Holdings did, over the death of Wigwe. They celebrated his death. They were happy, the man died. He must have stepped on the toes of some of the directors and they rejoiced over his death.
That’s the height of callousness or carelessness on the side of the Directors. And obviously, the Group Company Secretary could not reason to know that, it was not proper to mention the issue of the man’s replacement in a statement he had issued to announce his death, in such unfortunate circumstance. Even if he was asked to be that insensitive or to throw caution to the wind, he would have insisted on being human. What if he was in Wigwe’s shoes?. What kind of replacement that he could not have kept in abeyance or skipped, while announcing or confirming the death of the man?. What was so important or urgent about his replacement, that could not have waited for at least, twelve or twenty four hours?
Of course, on Monday, February 12, 2024, the Bank announced the man’s replacement. Bolaji Agbede was announced to replace the late GCEO. And the information was that, the celebration that greeted the announcement of Agbede as the new boss, at the bank’s headquarters, instantly diminished every sympathy for Wigwe, among the staff of the Bank.
That’s to say, while the aged parents and other siblings of the late Wigwe were profusely mourning, the Bank enthroned happiness and celebrations in the family of the successor and among the workers of the bank, and all within forty eight hours.
Has it gotten to this level that Africans do no longer value the lives of others? Do not have feelings of sorry or sympathy again for the dead? Would Access Bank Plc have collapsed if the directors had allowed or given, at least, one week or seven days gap, before announcing Wigwe’s replacement? Why the hurry? “Unknown UNGUN-MEN”.
For Wigwe, l repeat what Calpurnia, told Caesar, in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “When beggars die, there are no comets seen, The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes”. I do not know the extent this can be true, but let the Souls of the departed, rest in peace.
Chinua Achebe, in THINGS FALL APART, had this to write about Unoka, Okonkwo’s father, “He always said that, whenever he saw a dead man’s mouth, he saw the folly of not eating what one had in one’s lifetime”. This could be true and it speaks volumes. Looking at the mouth of Wigwe, it would appear as if, the man never ate anything from his billions. The memory verse. The crux of the matter. May the GOOD LORD, continue to have Mercy upon us.
Again, May the Souls of the Wigwes rest in the bossom of the LORD, AMEN.