Wigwe’s kinsmen promise to probe cause of death ‘traditional way’

Wigwe’s kinsmen promise to probe cause of death ‘traditional way’

The people of Isiokpo kingdom in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State on Wednesday vowed to use traditional means in investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of their son, Herbert Wigwe, in a helicopter crash in the United States of America.

Wigwe, who was the Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, was killed alongside his wife and son in a crash while travelling from Califonia to Nevava.

But peeved by his death, the Isiokpo’s traditional leadership, during a procession to begin eight days of mourning declared in Wigwe’s honour, said on Wednesday that they would deploy the ancient tradition to unearth the circumstances leading to his demise.

“We must get to the root of the whole thing. Isiokpo is an ancient city. We must go back to our traditional way and find out what really killed Herbert Wigwe,” the traditional ruler of Isiokpo, Blessing Wagor said.

Markets, shops and other business premises in the kingdom were shut on Wednesday, while the people wore black attires to mourn the death of Wigwe.
Many people in Omueke, Wigwe’s hometown and other communities in Isiokpo described him as generous, calm and friendly,

The procession that went round the communities terminated at the palace of the traditional ruler of Isiokpo, Blessing Wagor, who was seated with his council of chiefs to receive hundreds of mourners.

The crowd of mourners sang and called on God to intervene and help the community cope with what they described as an ‘unbelievable and incalculable’ loss.

Speaking, the monarch, King Wigor, described Wigwe as a special man to the community, saying he was championing the development of Isiokpo before his shocking demise.

Wigor further said Wigwe lifted many young men in the area from poverty and fulfilled many promises he made to the community.

He, however, expressed dismay that the community was anticipating the fulfillment of many other promises, including the provision of electricity he made to the people that would have affected more lives positively before his death.

The monarch stated, “Who will now complete the ongoing electricity project he initiated? Who will give us light?”

On some of Wigwe’s legacies, he said, “He is a special man to us. We are crying and mourning him. God knows everything. I won’t ask God why. We hand over everything to God. May God give us the mind to endure it.

“We relied on him. He came to develop Isiokpo. He was a wonderful person to us. He left many legacies in the community. He cited a university here. He made many promises. He promised us plenty of things. We are in tears.

“The light project that he promised us is still ongoing. Who will give us light again? He has gone, and we are in pain. What happens to our Christmas rice and bonus? He used to supply rice all over Isiokpo.

“We enjoyed him, and his death is painful. He was humble, honest and respectful.”

While stating that Wigwe would not be buried anywhere outside Isiokpo, he noted that the community was waiting for his remains to be given a traditional burial befitting him.

He, however, said the community would return to its traditional practice to ascertain the real cause of death of Wigwe.

“We must traditionally bury him. He cannot be buried outside Isiokpo. He must be buried here. The Isiokpo must find a way to probe his death.

“We must get to the root of the whole thing. Isiokpo is an ancient city. We must go back to our traditional way and find out what really killed Herbert Wigwe.

“If his death is natural. We will know. If it is from a human, we will know.”

The king said Wigwe’s death had taught many to work hard and make a positive impact in their communities, adding that if Wigwe had not left such legacies, the entire Isiokpo would not be mourning him.

He added, “This death is an example to all of us. You must make impact in your community. If Herbert is not a good man, this crowd will not gather here today. We can’t be here crying. Let’s follow Herbert Wigwe’s footsteps.”

The President of Isiokpo Youth Council and the Co-ordinating Chairman of all the Ikwerre community youth leaders, Apostle Peter Ezemoye, said the death of Wigwe should be thoroughly probed to find out its real cause.

Ezemoye said, “We are not too comfortable with the stories. We, the youths of Isiokpo, are using this opportunity to call on the Federal Government, the state and the National Assembly to look into this and follow up on investigations to know what actually happened.

“We are not buying into the stories. It is a great loss to us, and we can’t just lose a brother and father like that. We want the Interpol and the Nigerian government to find out what actually happened.

“I am not a pilot, and I am not an engineer, but in my layman’s understanding, when the weather is bad, you don’t take off. So the engineering crew and the helicopter company should be investigated. We need a thorough investigation to see what really happened.”

He flayed the death of Wigwe, describing it as shocking, pointing out that the entire community had been crying since the sad news was confirmed.

He said, :Wigwe was my boss; the news of his death came as a shock. I worked closely with him. We planned with him over the years with the things he brought down to Isiokpo. Education is the key of every society. He had the idea of turning the town into the envy of many people.

“He made many promises to us. We have been crying all these days. We took to the streets today to mark the respect and love we have for him. Today is Valentine’s Lovers Day. You can see the crowd, the entire Isiokpo, the King and chiefs, including the women, are here today in solidarity.

“But one thing is key. What is happening today shows the impact he made in Isiokpo, Ikwerre and Rivers at large. Other communities came here to partake in the procession. The only way we can honour his death is to ensure that his legacies are sustained. That is the best way anyone can mourn him.

“We must protect all and ensure we actualise all his dreams and aspirations. His dreams and his name shouldn’t be allowed to go into extinction. We are mourning him for eight days.

“But after today, activities will go on in the community on a low key. Wigwe did a lot for the community.”

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