iexclusivenews – Peter Obi, the charismatic candidate who captivated hearts during the 2023 elections, has traded his AFCON dreams for mourning robes.
A scheduled trip to cheer on the Super Eagles in the finals was abruptly cancelled after news of a devastating helicopter crash claimed the lives of close friends and prominent figures in Nigeria’s banking sector.
Obi, a former governor of Anambra state and a football enthusiast, was devastated by the news of the helicopter crash that killed his close friends and prominent bankers, Herbert Wigwe and Abimbola Ogunbanjo, along with their families in California, USA.
From Stadium Seats to Sorrow’s Embrace:
Peter Obi took to his X handle on Sunday to express his grief and condolences over the death of Wigwe, the CEO of Access Holdings, his wife, son, and Ogunbanjo, the former group chairman of NGX Group.
My beloved Super Eagles,
As you step onto the field of play for the epoch -making AFCON finals today, I want to join our teeming compatriots to express my deepest support and commitment to you.
— Peter Obi (@PeterObi) February 11, 2024
Mr. Obi described them as exceptional individuals who made remarkable contributions to the banking sector and the nation at large.
He recalled his long-standing friendship with Mr Wigwe, whom he met during his early days and helped him prepare for his traditional wedding with his wife, Chizoba, from Achina, Anambra State.
Mr Obi also praised Wigwe’s visionary leadership of Access Bank, which he inherited from his brother Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, and his philanthropic efforts in health and education, especially the establishment of Wigwe University, which demonstrated his commitment to education as a driver of development.
Obi said the loss of such outstanding personalities reminded him of the fragility of life and urged everyone to live with a purpose that benefits humanity.
He prayed for the repose of their souls and asked God to grant strength and comfort to their families, Access Holdings, NGX Group, and all those mourning this irreplaceable loss.
A Passion for Football
Peter Obi, who is known to be a staunch supporter of the Super Eagles from his days as governor of Anambra state (2006-2014), was in Abidjan to cheer the Eagles to victory during their quarter-final match against Angola.
A statement from his Media Office said Obi had purchased a return ticket and was to depart Nigeria by 1 pm Sunday when news of the helicopter crash reached him and he took the decision to cancel the trip in honour of those killed in the tragedy.
According to the Office, Mr Obi’s love for football dates back to his days as a student at Christ the King College (CKC), Onitsha, where he was also an ardent supporter of Rangers International of Enugu and the old Green Eagles.
As a governor, he further demonstrated his love for the game when he renamed the Onitsha township stadium in Fagge, Onitsha after the first national team captain, Godwin Achebe.
But he will not watch the epic match today following the helicopter crash in California, USA on Saturday that killed two Nigerian **seasoned bankers, a sector Obi professionally belongs to.
As a result, Obi is in shock and mourning and can no longer travel to Abidjan as already scheduled but his heart remains with the boys as he wishes them victory to bring home the trophy.