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OBITUARY

Your Death Is Too Difficult To Deal With, Gov. Otti Mourns Herbert Wigwe

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Late Wigwe and Gov. Otti

Herbert why? Why? Why? You told me you were going for a board meeting in London from where you will head out to the US and return after a few days and immediately come to Abia to see me. So, what happened?

Since this news filtered out, I’ve not been able to put my head down. I spoke to Peggy who was broken but strong. I refused to believe. Many others confirmed but they were also reporting other people. Then comes this call from Sola Faleye, my younger friend who you “acquired” when you took over Diamond Bank. You h1haveeverally shared how one of the best things about the acquisition of Diamond Bank was Sola. He was with you everywhere you went but alas, Sola was unreachable throughout yesterday. For some reason, he had to step down from that ill-fated Chopper to accompany the luggage by road. His name remains on the manifest! It is now clear that you are no more!

What do we tell Tochi and the little ones? Who will tell Mummy Stella and Daddy Shyngle when you celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary two years ago? How about those of us who have come to see you as part of life? Your dream Wigwe University which you told me was going to be the Harvard of Africa? Who will carry on with that dream? We had extensively talked about setting up a scholarship scheme to support brilliant but indigent students. Who will ensure that this dream is delivered?

This death is too big a blow to me personally and all those who knew you closely. You were not only my friend but my brother. Your constant encouragement and sometimes insistence have been very helpful in a lot of decisions one took. Even in the most difficult moments, you were always there to share ideas. You always came from very unpopular perspectives, disagreeing with conventional wisdom. Your can-do spirit was infectious! You would prove bookmakers wrong, even with your “Mergers and Acquisition” mindset.

I remember taking you up about 15 years ago quoting a research-based position that over 70% of mergers and acquisitions destroy shareholder value. You responded that Access Bank was in the 30% category!

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A few years ago, when a group of friends and I were working on a banking license, you drove to my house unannounced and insisted, “Alex, I’m glad you are working on a new bank, but I came to tell you that you should not run the bank. You have finished with banking; we need you in Abia and Abia needs you. We must get some of us that dare to go into public office, and you must remain there!” Since then, you have been consistent in your support.

This is one of the saddest moments in my life. To worsen the situation, Chizoba and Chizzy who hardly fly with you were in that chopper. I’m still trying to make sense of the whole situation. I wish someone would wake me up and reassure me that this was a bad dream! But alas it is real.

Good night my brother Herbert!
Good night, Chizoba!
Good night, Chizzy!
It is well with your souls.
– Dr. Alex Otti, OFR.

OBITUARY

Gov. Otti Visits Late Ogbonnaya Onu’s Family In Abuja, Condoles Wife

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*Governor Otti and Dr. Onu's widow are photographed with the former Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi (left), and the Principal Secretary to the Abia State Governor, Mr. Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, as well as other Onu family members.

Dr. Alex Otti, governor of Abia State, paid a condolence visit to the family of Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the state’s late former governor, on Wednesday.

Onu, Abia’s first civilian governor (January 1992-November 1993) and former Minister of Science and Technology, died on April 11, 2024, in an Abuja hospital.

According to Kazie Uko, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Otti immediately expressed his condolences to the family in a statement issued by his office following the death announcement.

The Governor was accompanied on the visit by Rotimi Amaechi, the former Governor of Rivers State and former Minister of Transport, and his Principal Secretary, Mr. Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu.

 

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OBITUARY

Gov. Otti Condoles NSA, Nuhu Ribadu, Over Brother’s Demise 

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Nuhi Ribadu

Dr. Alex Otti, the Governor of Abia State, has expressed his heartfelt condolences to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the National Security Adviser (NSA), on the death of his elder brother, Salihu Ahmadu Ribadu.

Governor Otti’s sympathies were conveyed in a statement by Kazie Uko, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.

According to the Governor’s statement, while death is a natural part of life, losing a close family member in their prime can be extremely painful and traumatic.

Governor Otti prayed that God would by His infinite grace comfort Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and all the other family members.

“On behalf of my family, government, and the people of Abia State, I would like to express our heartfelt condolences to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and the entire Ribadu family on the passing of your brother, son, and father, Salihu Ahmadu Ribadu.

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“While we accept that death is an inevitable part of life, we also recognise that the loss of a loved one or close family member is frequently accompanied by a great deal of pain, regret, and anguish, and this is one of them.

“In this time of grief, we are thinking of you and your family. The Governor said, “It is our prayer that the Almighty God will grant the soul of the departed eternal repose and give you the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”

 

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OBITUARY

Police Urged To Interrogate Producer Of Movie Production Where Junior Pope Died In Boat Mishap.

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Reactions have continued to follow the tragic death of superstar actor JohnPaul Obumneme Odowondo, also known as Junior Pope, who died on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, while returning from a remote filming location on a speed boat along the coast of the River Niger.

A viral video shot by the late actor himself while on board sail that fateful day shows him warning the boat captain to slow down and concentrate to avoid mishaps. That he has three children (3 boys) to care for and watch grow into adults in his lifetime.

In the video, Junior Pope also stated that he was crossing the River Niger in a boat without a life jacket, and that the world could see the level of risk they took just to entertain them. Not too long after he made the video, the recalcitrant boat captain colluded with a fisherman’s boat and all passengers on board drowned as boat capsized.

According to online reports, Tochukwu Okafor, another upcoming star actor who was one of the victims of the boat mishap, said he narrowly escaped death because none of the actors or crew members, except the producer and director, wore life jackets.

Although recent reports have it that Emeka Rollas, the president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) has banned movie productions in coastal areas after confirming the death of Junior Pope; there was need for the Anambra State Police Command to arrest and interrogate the Producer and Executive Producer over the non-use of lifejackets by their artistes and crew, as confirmed by the late Junior Pope and TC Okafor, who narrowly escaped death during the catastrophic boat accident.

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Furthermore, the late actor’s remains have sparked a series of controversies, with social media stories revealing that the Anam community in Anambra-West is demanding that Junior Pope’s body be buried inside the Anam River where he died, or that his family pay the community N40 million to bury him in his Ukehe country home in Enugu State.

Reports say the reason Anam community insisted Junior Pope be buried inside the Anam River was because he died in the River and his body belonged to the goddess of the River. That anything on the contrary would amount to dire spiritual consequences.

Meanwhile, the Anambra State Police Command had commiserated with the families of the victims of the catastrophic boat mishap.

A statement from the Police Public Relations Officer of the command SP Tochukwu Ikenga reads, ” The Commissioner of Police in Anambra State, CP Aderemi Adeoye, has extended his heartfelt condolences to the families of actors who lost their lives as a result of a Boat Accident which occured on the River Niger in the afternoon of Wednesday, 10th April, 2024.

The boat, one of two that conveyed the crew to a film location in Anambra West LGA of Anambra State, was returning to Asaba, where it took off from when the accident happened.

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Anambra Command Marine Police responded to the capsize and successfully rescued six actors and one actress from the water.

Two others who were unconscious were also pulled out with the aid of fishermen and conveyed to the Delta State Command Marine Police Jetty where other members of the crew who travelled in the first boat were waiting and handed over to the President of the Actors Guild for conveyance to the Hospital while the rescue team went back in search of three others who are still missing as at the time of this release.

Although the accident happened within the jurisdiction of Anambra State Command, issues relating to release of bodies of the accident victims for a decent burial are to be handled by Delta State Police Command.

The Commissioner of Police CP Aderemi Adeoye commiserate with family, friends and fans of the actors who died as a result of the boat mishap. He prayed Almighty God to grant their souls a sweet repose.

Preliminary investigations have shed light on the cause of the accident. The Commissioner of Police has ordered an exhaustive investigation to determine criminal liability for any persons involved in the mishap.

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