Nigeria Newspapers

Wigwes’ funeral: Akpabio tackles Fubara over ‘struggle for power’

149d74eb 3345903 img 20240228 wa0002 636x434 1

Wigwes’ funeral: Akpabio tackles Fubara over ‘struggle for power’

Gov Siminalayi Fubara pays tribute to late Herbert Wigwe, says his administration is determined to immortalise him as a worthy son of Rivers

Published By: Ayorinde Oluokun

Politicians, why do or die power struggle when we’ll all die? — Fubara

By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Should politicians struggle for power, especially when like all men, power and the money they will make when they eventually get it cannot save them from death? This was the bone of contention between Governor Siminalayi Fubara and Senate President Godswill Akpabio at the well attended funeral funeral service late CEO of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, his wife, Chizoba, and son, Chizi in Rivers State on Saturday.

Speaking at the funeral service held at the Lion of Judah Parish of Redeemed Christian Church of God, Isiokpo town in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the State, Fubara had cautioned the Nigerian political class who were well represented at the event to reconsider the essence of their usually intense do or die struggle for power because death is always inevitable.

He also noted that politicians don’t usually deploy power they acquired for positive impacts on the society.

Fubara said, “That takes me to the next question. This has to do with the political class. What is all this struggle all about? You want to kill, you want to bury. What is it all about?

“This is a man, he is not a politician. He made his money through us, our investment. He had the world in his palm, financially. He controlled even the political class.

“But today, with all the power financially, he couldn’t control life. Is it not enough for us to ask ourselves, why are we struggling?

“Why are we not making it happen in the life of our people? Please, political class, let’s go home with that question and reflect on it.”

“While the preaching was going on, I had this question that was going through my mind, it is, what is life all about?

“Yesterday night, we sang a hymn, ‘Fading away like that stars of the morning’, and I have concluded that life is not the one million years that you lived. But that even if we spent an hour, let the hour be impactful.

“Here lie our brother, his wife, and the son. Everyone has come to celebrate them. It means even the short period that he lived, he lived an impactful life. He had made a great contribution to humanity.”

But Akpabio replied Fubara who had been having a running battle with his predecessor when he took to the podium. The Senate recalled his experience with the then deputy governor of Akwa Ibom State in 2006 when he expressed interest in taking over the position.

  • Wigwes’ funeral: Dignitaries cheer as Amaechi, Fubara meet, shake hands (Photos)
  • Foundation to launch Education Champion League in Rivers
  • Fubara, Wike political battles scaring off investors from Rivers – Wali

In 2006, I wanted to become the deputy governor and the then-deputy governor invited me, saying ‘This office has no money, there is nothing in it. I don’t know why you still insist on removing me from here and take over,”

“So, a woman who went with me said Your Excellency, don’t wait for impeachment, just resign since there is nothing in it

“He stood up and started punching the woman. I said Your Excellency, don’t punch the woman, she is telling the truth, there is nothing in it. That’s why I want it because you are too big for it.

“Your Excellency, Governor Fubara, if there is nothing in the struggle, don’t struggle.”

However, Fubara also assured that the state government will immortalise Wigwe’s legacy by ensuring the survival of his university.

He said there will be synergy coordinated between the state government and the Herbert Wigwe Foundation to sustain the dreams that the late Herbert Wigwe had for his university.

Governor Fubara thanked his colleague, governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State for his presence and contributions to every event that was organised, leading to the burial of the three late Wigwes.

He also extended appreciation to Aliko Dangote, Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group, for the various roles and contributions towards the success of the late Herbert Wigwe funeral.

On his part, the Nigerian Senate president, Senator Godswill Akpabio, spoke representing the federal government at the event.

He said Nigerians, the political class, and indeed African leaders will continue to mourn the passing of an iconic personality who exhibited shining financial leadership.

In his sermon, Vice Chairman of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria in Rivers State, Pastor Adesoji Oni said God does not act, behave, and thinklike humans, which is why he controls every event beyond human comprehension.

Pastor Oni noted that though the demise of the late Herbert Wigwe was painful, it only reminds everyone that death is a necessary end, with no one knowing the day, place or time it will happen.

He, therefore, enjoined the congregation to make sure that they secured eternal life by establishing a relationship with God while they lived.