How Herbert Wigwe’s Church RCCG City Of David Betrayed & Failed His Family

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    Before the family of the late group CEO of Access Holdings Plc, Herbert Wigwe concluded plans to lay the banking whizkid, his wife, and first son to rest. They made a shocking revelation that the City of David Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), where the family worshipped, were banned and not involved in the burial rites. To make matters worse, reports have it that the pastor-in-charge of the influential parish, Pastor Idowu Iluyomade and his wife, Siju Iluyomade, were also banned from attending the burial ceremony by the Wigwe family.

    While Herbert was still alive, he and his family were active City of David parish members. They not only spent billions in the church but also supported it with millions-dollar projects, looked after its members, and gave interest-free loans. 

    Sadly, after the banker’s sudden and tragic death alongside his wife and first son while on their way to Las Vegas, US, to watch the Super Bowl game. Naturally, one would expect that the spiritual father and mother to the deceased will go into mourning for losing not one but three members in one day. Unfortunately, they did the complete opposite.

    Exactly nine days after the tragic accident, Siju Iluyomade, the pastor’s wife, painted the town red with a lavish pre-planned party to celebrate her 60th birthday. Besides hosting the rich, famous, and royalty, the high-society birthday bash also had Flavour N’abania perform, where he was captured serenading the one and only “Siju baby” on the dance floor.

    Of course, clips from the flamboyant event immediately got people talking, and many criticised the pastor and his wife for their lack of empathy towards their friends and family members who passed tragically. However, some argue that the pastor’s wife did the right thing because she only celebrated her 60th birthday once, and a diamond jubilee is such a significant milestone in Life.

    Sadly, Herbert Wigwe’s family sees their tragic loss as a heavy one that needs to stop all celebrations. How deep was their relationship? How much did Hertber Wigwe invest in the church, and why did his family decide to take such action against the pastor and church?

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    Only a few weeks after Herbert Wigwe’s sudden and tragic passing of his wife, Chizoba and his first son, Chizi, his family decided not to waste any time laying them all to rest. And the reason is not far-fetched. The late Group CEO of Access Holdings is survived by his aged mother and father, one brother and a few sisters, and his other three children. Not only that, Herbert is the second child of his parents, who made a tragic exit within a decade.

    Following the announcement of the burial rites program, the ceremony commenced on Monday, March 4, 2024, at the Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. However, the City of David Parish of RCCG was conspicuously missing from the event programme. The late Herbert Wigwe and his family were active parish members until he passed, and the late banker was credited for donating millions to the church. 

    Pastor Idowu Iluyomade confessed with his own mouth what the Wigwe family did for his parish while paying tribute to the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holding Plc, Iluyomade, during a service titled — Barrier Shattering Thanksgiving (Sunshine Service), described Wigwe as God’s general who donated generously to the church and its activities.

    While preaching, the pastor recalled how Wigwe spent about N500 million for God’s children’s great talent project and how he adopted a lot of children.

    “I remember when we wanted to build a school at Makoko for the indigent students, and we needed to pay the teachers, feeds the students everyday. Wigwe came and said he wanted to partner with us, and together with his foundation — Herbert Wigwe Foundation, he partnered with City of David, we were able to build the Makoko school that endures till today”.

    He also narrated the story about when the church wanted to start God’s Children’s great talent project and how the banker partnered with his church. “While we spent about N300million, he spent about N500million to raise talents. He had a heart for things of God”. He said.

    “He loved children; he gave scholarships to children. He adopted a lot of children and took care of them. For years, he has been quietly paying for the stipend/salary of the City of David classical choir. It has been amazing for years. Every month, he was paying them. At The Christmas concert, he funded them. He did a great work in this place. As he was doing here, he was doing it all over.

    “He was a blessing to God and humanity. His Life was profitable to all. I commiserate with the Chairman of the Building Fund and his wife.

    He carried on;

    “Wigwe was the chairman of the finance committee with Pastor Siju and I remember when we wanted to start the fund raising. He took us to Eko Atlantic, he put a marquee there, he brought people from America to come and see, and in that event, we raised about N600 million. One would have thought he would sit back; he kept going. He told me we’ll do it.

    Confessing that one of Herbert Wigwe’s purposes was to assist the church, he said,

    “When this place was ground zero, he paid five years rent for a branch when there was nothing just to assist, then later he said, I’ll give you two branches, one of the left, one on the right, and he paid five years each (ten years), nobody would support a greenfield, if you’re built, yes, you can go. One of his purposes was to assist us.

    He added;

    “When we needed to take finance from the bank, when the contractors left the site, he gave us the money. Herbert was supporting us. His wife was also supporting him. He’ll call his wife, bring N20m, bring N10m, and she’ll support. He’ll call his friends too.

    The pastor further revealed that in January 2024, when they told Herbet Wigiwe about project 2.4 and all the funds needed, the banker gave them a 1 billion interest-free loan from his bank. He also revealed that he knew the banker so well because he came to his house and office, and they often prayed together.

    Sadly, exactly nine days after the banker, his wife, and his son perished in an unfortunate helicopter crash in the US, Siju Iluyomade threw a colourful, talk-of-town party to celebrate her 60th birthday. The lawyer and pastor who is the founder of the Arise Women Foundation and the Handmaidens Women in Leadership Series. Like anyone who has lived this long, the wife of the Pastor-in-charge of the City of David parish has crossed many milestones in her Life, but nothing like a Diamond Jubilee.

    On February 18, 2024, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island Lagos, was packed with distinguished guests, including billionaires and monarchs, to rejoice with the pastor’s wife. This includes the Soun of Ogbomosho, Oba Olaoye Ghandi, the Oniru of Iru, Oba Omogbolahan Lawal, billionaire businessman and Eleganza founder, Chief Razaq Okoya, and his beautiful wife, Shade, billionaire banker and Chairman of UBA, Tony Elumelu, Fidelity Bank MD, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, senior vice-chairman Standard Chartered Bank Group, Bola Adeshola and former governors and deputy governors. Also spotted was the wife of the deputy governor of Lagos State, Oluremi Hamzatchairperson Nigeria in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, Abike Dabiri. While Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State chose to stay away for obvious reasons, his wife ably represented him at the church service and reception.

    Dr Siju, who kick-started her celebration with a Photo Shoot taken by celebrity photographer TY Bello, didn’t come to play. The flamboyant birthday was marked with two dress codes. One was the exclusive green and pink lace, and another green and pink ankara fabric with headgear to match. It started with a thanksgiving service at the Trinity Tower on Victoria Island. Tony Rapu, a former pastor in RCCG and now general overseer of This Present House, gave the sermon. Immediately, this was followed by a grand reception party at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotel and Suites. Nothing less than eight giant cakes were on display.

    Four masters of the ceremony hosted the party, including ace comedian Alibaba and Arise TV presenter Ayo Mairo Ese. Several musicians were contracted to keep guests on their feet. One of them was popular singer Flavour N’abania, who serenaded the birthday girl with his hit songs, such as Ada Ada, Berna, and Adamma.

    While some people rushed to hail Dr Siju for rocking her birthday like a baddie because she only celebrates 60 once, many criticised the birthday girl for the wrong timing. And their reason is not farfetched.

    The party didn’t occur on the day Siju clocked 60 but over a month later. The Pastor’s wife’s 60th birthday was actually on January 8. Still, she chose to host a workout session at Onikan stadium, Lagos and then jetted out with her husband to North America for a vacation-like celebration. Unknown to many, the low-key ceremony just gave her enough time to plan her birthday celebration to her taste. When Dr. Siju decided to roll out the drums, she threw the mother of all parties that shut down Lagos. But even amidst the celebration, the celebrant paid tribute to Herbert Wigwe and his family and had everyone observe a minute of silence for them.

    But critics were unsatisfied, insisting that if the birthday girl could wait five weeks to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, she could have waited another month to mourn the departed Wigwe. People said they expected her to show more empathy as their spiritual mother in the lord.

    Then there was the choice of musicians and even her dress, which critics claimed was not Christian-like. For a pastor’s wife, people expected the performance of a gospel singer. Not only did the birthday girl not invite a single one, but she chose Flavour, a highlife singer. Besides the song of choice, the handsome singer was captured bare-chested as he invited the celebrant to the dance floor while calling her ‘Siju baby’ as he rolled his waist.

    Speaking with Arise TV, media personality Daddy Freeze said some people think they are spiritual parents but just spiritual orphans. Daddy Freeze further said the day people accept that churches are a business centre is the day their expectations of clerics die. The former radio host argues that rather than tone down the party, it should have been postponed her event to a later date.

    Also reacting on Instagram, one user wrote, “RIP Herbert Wigwe! Live your Life to the fullest while you’re here. People only care when you’re still around.”

    Another user wrote, “This is the pastor’s wife of late Wigwe’s church o. Omo.”

    Another user stated, “Life is short. Enjoy it while it lasts. No doubt, Herbert has died, but those alive must celebrate it (Life) while it lasts. More so, Herbert was funding the church, not the pastor. The church does not belong to the pastor.

    One added, “What a total mess…so, even if the dead was your sister and her husband, plus your nephew, will this parry still go on? Those were members of your church, for Christ’s sake. You are supposed to be their spiritual mother. Very insensitive and callous…even those in the world will not do this… look at Tony (Elumelu), too. Your colleague and his family perished less than a month, and you are here dancing at a tasteless, callous party with another woman of the world hiding in the church. May God have mercy on all of us.”

    One wrote, “When you see Pastor Siju Illuyomade’s 60th birthday celebration, you will know why some people are still running away from church!”

    One wrote, “So, because of Nigeria’s problems, those privileged should not celebrate? Even those with little still celebrate. Let the wealthy breathe, please.”

    Another wrote, “This could have been postponed. It is very insensitive.”

    While Nigerians are bashing Dr Siju and her husband, reports have it that they have bigger fish to fry. The General Overseer of RCCG, Pastor Adeboye, has reportedly asked them to resign their position over their misconduct at the birthday bash. Still, we heard that the couple has refused to do as told and now waging war with Adeboye.

    Tell us, guys, what you think about Dr Siju’s Diamond Jubilee party. Do you think it was insensitive because Herbert Wigwe and his family had just passed away tragically? 

    Should they have postponed the party or perhaps toned it down? Or do you think the birthday girl did the right thing celebrating her birthday as planned because she only turned 60 once? 

    What do you think about Daddy Freeze’s take on the issue? Is he right, or is he all wrong? 

    Finally, did the late banker family do the right thing by snubbing the pastors in the funeral rites?


    UNTOLD STORY OF Nigerian Banker Herbert Wigwe Who PROTECTED His Family From Everything But Death

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    2 COMMENTS

    1. You celebrated this birthday as if you will die if you don’t. What happened to next year? celebrating your jubilee at 61, it doesn’t change anything, the world will understand. Daddy Freeze has been saying this and you pastors are giving room for us to believe. I support the Wigwe family for their decision, it make sense.

    2. I love this piece.
      Honestly, I don’t really know what to say but… Mehn! Life goes on.
      The Siju woman looks too worldy for my like though.

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