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Khalifa Sanusi: When I Was Dethroned, Herbert Wigwe Had A Plane Waiting For Me, Accommodated My Family 

“He was always about others, never about himself.”

For family and friends of the late Herbert Wigwe, it was indeed a sad night of sober reflection of his life and legacy, as they gathered to pay their last respects to him at his night of tributes on Wednesday.

One of Wigwe’s dear friends, Khalifa Muhammadu Sanusi took to the podium to pay a touching homage to him.

Sanusi recounted his relationship with Wigwe and the memories they had, amidst tears. “There are many stories I can tell about Herbert,” he said.

He recalled a time immediately after he was dethroned, when he was the recipient of Wigwe’s exceptional kindness.

“On the day I heard on the radio that I was dethroned, the night before, I knew it was going to happen. I called him, I said I want to come to Lagos when it happens. The announcement was made at about 9am. By noon, Herbert had a plane on the tarmac in Kano.

“I put my family on that plane and sent them to Lagos. Herbert received them, put them in a hotel. Later, got them flats, got them accommodation. I have lived in Lagos for four years. The house my family lives in, was provided by Herbert.”

Commenting on the selfless spirit of his late friend, Sanusi said, “He was always about others. Never about himself.”

Before leaving the stage, he also recounted how he had stood up for Wigwe shortly before he passed and defended him from someone who made offensive remarks about him.

“On the night before this happened, I was on a chat group, when somebody made a few remarks about Herbert, that I found offensive, and I could not resist it. I went in and defended Herbert. I made my point very clear that this was totally unacceptable.

“A few days after Herbert died, I was in Hong Kong. A friend called me and said ‘Deji Ali wants your phone number, should I give him?’ Deji Ali sent me a message, and I want to thank Deji Ali and I want to thank God for what he did. I usually object to people forwarding messages from groups. Deji Ali had sent a message to Herbert at about 3:20 that morning, telling him how I had stood up and defended him, forwarding my entire message to him. Herbert replied at 3:28 am with one word, ‘unbelievable’. Deji Ali sent another message at 3:50 which was not delivered. From the presentation of the air traffic controllers, the crash happened at 3:40. So, possibly, the last thing Herbert read was my message talking about him. I’m grateful to God that he left knowing he had a friend.”

He ended his tribute sobbing his heart out and offering condolences to the Wigwe family.

Melissa Enoch ‎

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