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Sanusi Break Down In Tears At Herbert Wigwe’s Tribute

The former Emir of Kano and ex-Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Muhammadu Sanusi II on Wednesday broke down in tears while paying tribute to former Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, Herbert Wigwe.

Addressing the crowd present for the night of tribute to the 57-year-old, Sanusi said he thought he would leave Herbert behind not knowing there would be a turn of events.

“I was thinking I would die and leave Herbert. We have all heard about him, about his loyalty,” he said in an emotionally laden voice.

He recalled how the late banker stood by his side all through his travails after being removed as Emir of Kano by former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

According to the former Emir, Herbert assured him of his unflinching support and loyalty, he added that Herbert provided a plane for him at the tarmac in Kano to convey him to Lagos.

“When I had problems in Kano, I called him about six months before I was told to leave Kano. I said to him, ‘Herbert I know you are doing all your best to solve all these problems, but I am convinced that this is what is going to happen.

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“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, I called him and said I wanted to come to Lagos.

“The announcement was made about 9 am, by noon Herbert had a plane at the tarmac in Kano. The plan then was to take me into exile for many years. I put my family on that plane and sent them to Lagos, with no phone calls. Herbert received them and put them in a hotel.

“Later, he got them accommodation. For months, when I came, they stayed there. Your Highness, if you want to travel, just call Shola.”

The former CBN said the late Access Bank CEO and his partner Aig Imoukhuede, were crucial to his success during his five-year stint at the apex bank.

He also narrated how they helped resolve a serious challenge in the banking sector at the time.

“The objective then was to link the banking sector assets to the real economy and Aig and Herbert in Access Bank were chosen as the chairpersons on the subcommittee on economic development. Most of what I achieved in the Central Bank would not have been possible without them.”

“About two years ago, I put all my savings in a trust for the education of my children because I have many. My priority as a father is to make sure that when I pass away, they will have a good education.

“Paul was a solicitor put in that trust, Herbert was the lead protector. Paul will remember when we had the first formal meeting, I said, ‘Herbert I am placing you in charge of this trust for the education of my children because I know that even if I died and did not leave any money, you will educate our children,” he said.

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