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Wigwe saved my family when I was dethroned as Kano emir – Sanusi

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The 14th Emir of Kano State, Mohammed Sanusi, has recounted how the late Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Dr Herbert Wigwe, came to his rescue after he was dethroned and had to leave the state

Wigwe saved my family when I was dethroned as Kano emir – Sanusi

Sanusi made this known at the continuation of the night of tributes organised in Wigwe’s honour in Lagos on Wednesday.

Recounting his sojourn with the late Wigwe, Sanusi, who broke down in tears thrice, recalled how the late banker came to his rescue when he was dethroned and needed a place for him and his family to stay.

He said, “When I had problems in Kano, I called him (Wigwe) about six months before I was to leave Kano, and I said to him, ‘Herbert I know you will give all your best to solve all these problems, but I am convinced that this is what is going to happen.’ And he said to me ‘Your Highness, don’t worry, whatever happens, don’t worry we are here for you.’

“On the day I heard on the radio that I was dethroned, the night before it happened, I called and said I wanted to come to Lagos. The announcement was made at about 9 am, and by noon, Herbert had a plane at the tarmac in Kano. I put my family on that plane, no message, no phone call, I put them on that plane. Herbert received them, put them in a hotel, and later got them accommodation for months.”

According to Sanusi, Wigwe’s kindness to him gave many the impression he (Sanusi) owned Access Bank, while Wigwe and Aig-Imoukhuede were his stooges.

“When I came we stayed there. Some people believe I own access bank and Aig and Herbert are fronting for me. They gave me the cars and the drivers, they gave me security and a private jet and they ask for nothing and they don’t talk about it. I have lived in Lagos for four years, the house my family lives in was provided by Herbert,” he said.

He added, “When I heard of his death, I said ‘In the coming weeks and months, people will get to know Herbert the human being’. They know him as a banker, as a businessman, they don’t know him as a human being. He was always about others, not about himself. You can’t imagine how one human being could have been so many things to so many people.”

Sanusi also recalled how he entrusted his life savings to Wigwe.

He revealed that this was because he (Sanusi) thought he was going to die before him (Wigwe).

“About two years ago, I put all my savings into a Trust for the education of my children, I have many and my priority as a father is to make sure that when I pass away, they will have a good education.

“I told Herbert, ‘I am placing you in charge of this Trust for the education of my children because I know that even if I die and do not leave any money, you will educate my children.

“I thought I would die before Herbert”, he revealed.