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11.02.2024 Feature Article

Truly, ‘This World Is Not Our Home’ As Wigwe, Wife And Son Die In Helicopter Crash

Wigwe And WifeWigwe And Wife
11.02.2024 LISTEN

When the late country music legend, Jim Reeves in the 1960s popularized the song “This World Is Not My Home” which was originally written in the early 1900s by Albert Brumley, a prominent American gospel music composer, he might not have had it in mind that the meaning behind the song would always send a subliminal message when played, particularly when anyone dies; whether the deceased was a very important person or not.

To buttress the foregoing fact, it is germane to confess that given the sad news about the death of the CEO of Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe, his wife, and his son, who were believed to be among the six passengers in a helicopter that crashed in the US early Saturday, February 10, 2024, Nigerian time (late Friday local time), that I was emotionally devastated.

In fact, it is expedient to also confess that I never had the opportunity of meeting any of the deceased one-on-one during their earthly journey but as a Journalist, I have seen and heard Wigwe speak at several events related to banking. Notwithstanding, their deaths devastated me, after all, it was John Donne that said that “Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee”.

Given the state of extreme sadness which I found myself in, upon receiving the sad news, I decided to visit a music streaming service provider on the internet through my phone where I listened to Jim Reeves’ hit track, “This World Is Not My Home”, and as I listened to the music, I could not help thinking of how the lyrics rhymed with the sad news that put me in an emotionally devastated situation.

Without doubt, while I thoughtfully listened to the lyrics, it instantly dawned on me that as a Christian we should always be prepared to be called home, which is heaven, where we are expected to meet our loved ones once again. The reason for the foregoing expectation cannot be farfetched as heaven is a holy place where God dwells in and looks after His people. Jim Reeves, though not the original owner of the song, which was typically a hymn, and not country song, was fully aware that his life here on earth was just temporary. He knew that he would die soon, but he was not afraid of it. He believed also that God has prepared a beautiful place for him. Therefore, he looked forward to going to a place that he can truly call his home.

At this juncture, it is pragmatic to opine that the essence of playing Jim Reeves’ somewhat obituary music was to remind oneself “That this World Is Not Our Home, and that We Are Just Passing Through”.

The reason for the for the foregoing encouraging views cannot be farfetched as there is no denying the fact that so often Christians fall into the confines of this world’s values and strive toward earthly goals. We endeavor to reach the peak of our careers; we budget our money and invest a chunk of every pay into various funds for our retirement; and we even collect valuable possessions to feel the status of success. We believe that these accomplishments are the things that fulfill our purpose in life, and so they are worth the struggle and the endurance. But this thinking is wrong.

The pressures to meet the material goals of this world have caused many Christians to believe that they need to struggle to achieve them in order to be successful, but this is not a prerequisite set out by God. He tells us to keep our eyes on Heaven and to not make earth our treasure. After all, the Bible urges us thus: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” … Matthew 6:19

Our accomplishments are nothing that we have earned or collected here on earth, and our purpose in life should not be focused on getting them. Our eyes, our hearts and our values should all be on Jesus and what HE has done for us, and our goal and our focus should be on Him and on our home in eternity with Him. The rewards that we look forward to are not earthly, but will be given to us by Jesus when we get to Heaven and they will last forever.

Given the foregoing, it is expedient to opine that while we are still here, though, we have a purpose to fulfill as Christians, and that is to encourage and support each other and to be witnesses to the world of God’s grace through Jesus our Savior. Our lives should reflect God so when people see us they see the character and the Spirit of God in us. How do we do that? By the way we act and react to situations; by the way we give God all the praise and glory for being our Lord and our help when we need help (Psalm 9:9); and by the way we live our lives and show that Jesus is our reason for living and that our wealth is not in earthly possessions, but in the eternal life He has prepared for us.

We cannot put our hope and our purpose in earthly riches. We cannot take them with us as they belong to this world. Mark 10:24 says, “… But Jesus answered again and said to them, ‘Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!’” If we cling to the possessions of this world, we will die just like Lot’s wife died when God led his family out of Gomorrah. She looked back in sadness because her heart was in that city and its possessions, and not with the Lord.

At this juncture, it is germane that now late Mr. Herbert Wigwe, the CEO of Access Bank’s Holdings, ostensibly knew that “This World Is Not Our Home”, and so he assiduously worked at such a relatively young age to manage Access Bank which ranks as one of Africa’s top-tier banks. In fact, his astuteness and business acumen particularly resonated in the oversight of the takeover of Diamond Bank, a bank that was much bigger than Access Bank at the time it was taken over by Access Bank.

Against the backdrop of the robustness of Wigwe’s academic and professional backgrounds, particularly as he was an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Executive Management Programme, a master’s degree in Banking and International Finance holder from the University College of North Wales, a master’s degree in Financial Economics holder from the University of London and a B.Sc. degree in Accounting holder from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and also was a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), it is not a surprise that he left an enduring legacy in Wigwe University.

For the sake of clarity, Wigwe University, as one of the legacies he left, stands as a testimony to his unwavering commitment to excellence in education and the shaping of future African leaders. As gathered, the university was founded for the purpose of building and nurturing truly responsible, fearless leaders that will drive transformative change in Nigeria and Africa.

In fact, it will not be out of place to opine that it seems he actually knew that the world is too short, and that it is not our home that he took virtually every activities he was involved in his earthly journey with utmost seriousness.

Without doubt, Wigwe in his earthly journey recognized that the realization of sustainable progress in Africa hinges on the cultivation of leaders who are not only academically proficient, but also those that possess a relentless obligation to changing the current narrative of Africa and its people.

To rest my pen in this context, it is germane to confess that finding the right words of condolence to offer those that are bereaved as a result of the deaths of Wigwe, his wife, son and others that also died in the crash is difficult. In fact, there is no perfect condolence message as there is nothing that could be said that will make sorrow disappear.

The reason for the foregoing cannot be farfetched as grieving is an intense feeling that everyone feel when in deep sorrow as in the event of losing someone. No one wants to lose a loved one, the resulting emotion could tear one apart and it is hard for every person. Therefore, no words can take away the pain, we only say what we can. Here is a list of simple and concise condolence messages that can be sent to a person in grief. With the foregoing words, I wish all the souls that were lost in the crash to rest in peace, and be in the bosom of the Lord, and that those of us that are still alive should always have it at the back of our minds that “This World Is Not Our Own”.

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