Korra Obidi Points Out Access Bank For Using Herbert Wigwe’s Burial As PR

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    Celebrated singer and dancer Korra Obidi has been getting a lot of heat on social media following her controversial comment concerning the late Herbert Wigwe’s funeral. This is coming after celebrity blogger and influencer Tunde Ednut shared a video capturing the moment the caskets of the departed Group CEO of Access Holdings, his wife and son, were being carried at their final burial ceremony on March 9. Amidst feelings of sadness and sympathy, many noticed the first coffin, that of the late Herbert, was wrapped with the Access Bank flag for reasons only the family of the departed and the bank can explain.

    Interestingly, some praised the gesture, saying the bank honoured its former CEO with the biggest legacy, and the singing dancing princess from the motherland saw it as a PR move. The US-based mother of two expressed disgust at the gesture. In viral comments, Korra vehemently condemned the idea as a cheap PR stunt, describing it as disrespectful to the dead. We don’t need to tell you what happened after Korra aired her opinion because it’s been a tug of war-ever since.

    However, Access Holdings wasted no time replacing him with an acting Group CEO of Access Holding three days after his death.

    Was Korra Obidi right? Was burying the late Herbert Wigwe with an Access Bank flag a PR Stunt, or was it just a way of honouring him and his legacy?

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    When veterans and active military members die in service, it is typical worldwide to bury them ceremonially. The departed are honoured with escort platoons, gun salutes, and, of course, a flag draped over their coffin. High-ranking government officials like presidents also receive this kind of dignified burial ceremony.

    The late Group CEO of Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe, was neither a member of the military nor a high-ranking government official. But the late banking Whizkid, who passed tragically in a helicopter crash with his wife and first son, was the man behind the success of Africa’s biggest lender, Access Bank. That is his legacy. So you can imagine how pleased Nigerians were when he was laid to rest with the Access Bank flag draped over his coffin. To them, it was a sign that the late Herbert was not forgotten in death and that his hard work of all these years was profound and duly recognized. Many people hailed Access Bank for the gesture when videos from the March 9 final burial ceremony, which took place at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Lion of Judah Parish in his hometown, Isiokpo, Rivers State, went viral.

    However, celebrity dancer and singer Korra Obidi didn’t reason from this perspective. The single mother-of-2 known for her hit song, Big Korra, opposed the fact that the late Herbert’s coffin was wrapped with the bank’s flag. While reacting, the social media sensation described it as a cringe PR stunt and borderline disrespectful of the departed soul. “The shameless PR move with the bank logo on the corpse is cringe, to be honest. May their souls rest in perfect peace,”she wrote. But before the singing and dancing princess could finish her statement, netizens pounced on her. Some called her slow, some people asked her to rest, and some people were even more brutal; they begged her to stick to twerking and dancing as the corporate world was not aligned with her chosen lifestyle and career.

    One Instagram user wrote, “@korraobidi when e reach your turn, abeg run am how you wan run am because what in God’s name is this rubbish comment??”

    One asked, “You no go focus on the twerking wey concern you?”

    One advised, “My dear, it’s not a dancing competition. Allow the corporate world to mourn their own, ok.”

    One opined. “korraobidi Geez you call this PR?? The silliest thing I’ve read in a while.”

    Another IG user urged, “@korraobidi madam rest!! when the president dies and the flag is put on his coffin is that PR? Just stay sad type rubbish.”

    One asked, “@korraobidi it’s honestly not a PR move but a business honor. wasn’t he not the CEO? make it make sense.”

    Another asked, “@korraobidi how is this PR sense far from u.”

    One wrote, “@korraobidi It is not PR. Just a sign of association and respect.”

    One called her a clout chaser, “She can use the dead body trend”

    Also reacting, one user pointed out, “You are not smart, my dear. It was used for the congregation to know the coffin their boss is in for their last respect.”

    One also pointed out that it was a way of honouring the dead. “That’s the Head of a world-class there. Placing the institution’s flag on his casket is a mark of respect and honor for the institution he led into tremendous success whilst he held sway as a leader. You should know better.”

    Again, another user advised, “Stick to your naked dancing. When a corner dies during NYSC and they cover the cover with the NYSC flag, is that also PR.”

    But as you must have guessed, Korra was not having it and immediately fired back at her critics. In a post on her Facebook story, the US-based singer slammed critics crying under her comment section simply because she could spot a PR stunt they overlooked. “I said what I said,” she insisted, and in the caption, she told them to continue crying but at least donate their tears in her bucket.

    Returning to the Instagram comment later, Korra made it known that she was still standing by her opinion that it was a PR Stunt and nothing more. “As all of you use this comment to cast your grief and frustrations, kindly remember that my opinion didn’t change. All your insults did not change it. This woman still holds her opinion. May their souls rest in peace?” she wrote.

    Many people reacted once again, but this time, people wondered who had approved the decision to wrap an Access Bank flag on the late Herbert Wigwe’s coffin. Did his family approve of it, and could it have been their idea as opposed to Korra’s opinion that Access Bank is using the tragedy emotionally to promote the brand, especially as all eyes were on them during the Wigwe’s burial?

    Amidst all these arguments and controversy, many have become curious about the person stepping into the late banking Whizkid shoes, especially because Herbert left enormous shoes. According to pundits, his talent, skill, and expertise are unrivalled. Regardless of the late banker’s heavy footprint, Access Holdings wasted no time replacing him with an acting Group CEO of Access Holding, Bolaji Agbede. Barely three days after Herbert Wigwe passed tragically, precisely on February 11, 2024, the company announced the appointment of his replacement following approval by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Initially, many people criticized the decision, saying that it was a lesson to everyone who lives to work that they are dispensable. However, many admitted the decision to replace Herbertbis was a good call as the company needed a new leadership to continue operations.

    The woman stepping into Herbert’s shoes is unknown to many. However, Bolaji Agbede has made her mark since joining Guaranty Trust Bank in 1992 and rose to various managerial positions by 2001. In 2003, Access Bank poached the management guru, and she joined the financial institution as an Assistant General. Since then, she has served in different roles at the bank, including Head of group Human Resources between 2010 and 2021. In 2022, Bolaji Agbede was appointed the company’s founding Executive Director of Business Support, a role she held until her new appointment.

    “The appointment of Ms Agbede is in alignment with our robust succession planning practices…We are strongly convinced that Ms Agbede, being the company’s most senior executive, with exceptionally rich professional and leadership experience and an understanding of the Access culture, would provide the much-needed leadership to steer the company towards the attainment of its strategic vision of building a globally connected community and ecosystem, inspired by A Africa for the world,” the Access Holding statement reads.

    In addition to boasting over 27 years of experience in the banking sector, Bolaji Agbede has a robust educational background. The acting CEO of Africa’s biggest lender holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Lagos and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Cranfield University UK in 2002. Bolaji is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Management UK and the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria.

    But the real question is, can the new Group CEO of Access Holdings maintain and perhaps surpass the late Herbert Wigwe’s legacy? Tell us what you think in the comment section down below.

    How about the Access Bank flag wrapped around Herbert Wigwe’s casket? Do you agree with Korra Obidi that it was a shameless PR Stunt? Or do you think it was a way of honouring him? 

    Do you think his family approved of it?

     

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