Rivers and Ogun States mourn loss

The Orbic Air LLC operated helicopter which crashed on friday night in California has left the Rivers and Ogun States seriously mourning as the crash has claimed the lives of their prominent sons, Herbert Wigwe, a prominent Nigerian banker and Abimbola Ogunbanjo, another businessman.

Wigwe, whose wife and son were also lost in the crash is an indigene of Rivers State while Abimbola Ogunbanjo is from Ogun state .

Wigwe was the access bank boss.

Hubert Wigwe, the Access bank boss lost in the California crash

According to official statement from the US Federal Aviation administration,
'A helicopter carrying six people crashed and caught on fire on Friday night near the California-Nevada border, killing all of those aboard.

The Federal Aviation Administration said that the Eurocopter EC130 helicopter crashed around 10 p.m. local time near Nipton, Calif., an unincorporated community about 60 miles south of Las Vegas in eastern San Bernardino County.

According to Michael Graham, a board member with the National Transportation Safety Board, during a news conference on Saturday, 'The helicopter departed from Palm Springs, Calif., at 8:45 p.m., and it was headed toward Boulder City, Nev.

'The charter flight crashed near Halloran Springs, Calif., around 10:08 p.m., Mr. Graham said, adding that all of those onboard — two crew members and four passengers — were killed. He said that witnesses reported that the helicopter crashed amid rainy and wintry conditions.

Since the friday crash, condolences have been pouring in for the families of the crash victims and, especially , the Ogun State government .

In a statement to comiserate with the victims' families ,Nigeria’s president, Bola Tinubu identified four of the victims as Mr. Wigwe; his wife, Chizoba Wigwe; his son Chizi; and Mr. Ogunbanjo.

The statement by president Tinubu further said “Their passing is an overwhelming tragedy that is shocking beyond comprehension,”

Meanwhile , the news of the death of Herbert Wigwe was first broken by the officials of the accessbank. Mr. Wigwe, was an alumnus of an executive program at Harvard Business School, and was a key driver in the transformation of access bank into becoming one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions. While Mr. Ogunbanjo was the former chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group P.L.C., a financial holding company.

According to F.A.A statement , The National Transportation Safety Board and F.A.A. are investigating the crash, officials said.

Meanwhile , the Ogun State governor , Prince Dapo Abiodun has sent out official statements to mourn the loss of the Nigerian finance gurus.

The statement states:
'With a profound sense of sorrow weighing heavily on our hearts, we have recently been confronted with the profoundly shocking news of the untimely passing of Mr. Herbert Wigwe, the esteemed CEO of Access Holdings, alongside his beloved wife, Chizoba, and their son Chizi, all whom we lost in a devastating helicopter accident near the border of California and Nevada, in the United States of America.

The statement further recognised the access bank executive as a highly regarded Nigerian banker and visionary entrepreneur,.
'Mr. Herbert undoubtedly embodied greatness through his unwavering dedication to the advancement of Nigeria's economy.

His invaluable support for the Building Our Future Together Agenda within our administration in Ogun State stands as an enduring testament to his remarkable character. A cherished friend, his abrupt departure has left an irreplaceable void, leaving us with an indescribable sorrow that will forever linger.

For Mr. Abimbola Ogunbanjo, governor Dapo Abiodun writes:

'It is with deep sadness that our state receives the distressing news of the departure of a prominent figure from Ogun State, Baamofin Abimbola Ogunbanjo, who tragically lost his life in a helicopter accident near the California and Nevada border in the United States of America.
'Otunba Ogunbanjo, as a trained legal practitioner and the former Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), played a pivotal role in the demutualization of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) between 2021 and 2022. His numerous leadership positions within the Nigerian business community have greatly contributed to the socio-economic development of our beloved nation. His absence will be deeply felt by all.

In conclusion , the governor says 'In this difficult time, I extend my heartfelt condolences, on behalf of my family and the people and government of Ogun State, to grieving family and the entirety of the Access family. May you find solace in the memories and legacy he has bestowed upon us, and may his spirit guide us as we navigate this loss of immeasurable proportions.

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