Pastor Shyngle Wigwe wouldn’t forget certain dates in his lifetime. Just like many parents, he would gladly remember his children’s birthdays.
But how many parents pray to remember the ‘death day’ of any child (ren)?
“It happened on the 5th of June 1997. I was at the Ministers’ conference at the Redemption camp,” he reminisced in an interview with Koko Kalango on her “Colours Of Life” episode in its February 2023 edition.
Though the interview hinged on the 60th wedding anniversary of Shyngle and Stella Wigwe, the couple shared a bleak part of their marriage when their firstborn, Osita, died in an auto accident in River State.
“It was just a few miles from our hometown and my mother was at home,” Wigwe recalled.
“He had a head-on collision with a Mercedes 911 heavy lorry. They struggled to get him out of the car. They took the car to my mother in the village and told her the owner of the car was involved in an accident and was dead. But not knowing who the victim was, she said, ‘it can’t be my child.’ They now took the car to my brother in Port-Harcourt who telephoned Lagos but we were at the Redemption camp and didn’t get me. They got my other son, Herbert, and a good friend of mine who went to the camp and just went to the General Overseer, Pastor Adeboye. The G.O called the elders to go to my house, while they got someone to excuse me from the meeting. I was told that Pastor Adeboye was waiting for me in my house. ‘Why would Pastor Adeboye be waiting for me in my house?’ I wondered as I raced back home from the camp. I got home and met some elders and Deputy General Overseer.
I was later told ‘our brother had gone to be with the Lord’. I was like, ‘which Lord? This was a boy who was totally sold out to the Lord and we believed one who is sold out to God doesn’t die. It couldn’t have been that boy! I didn’t believe it until I sent someone to Port-Harcourt to see the body and he came back to tell me that ‘daddy, we have to go ahead with the burial quickly because the body is in bad shape. It was then that I believed. I didn’t think such would happen to me. It was as if someone took forceps to pull out my heart. This boy had the attributes of both a daughter and that of a son. He was one in a million and a solution provider to all family problems. I didn’t know that God was just showing me a part of His love for a moment and he took him back home. Then, I didn’t feel life was worth living anymore. His younger brothers were young and not as firmly rooted. It was a big loss. He was 34 years old. We related like brothers not as father and son. It took me quite a while to recover and I said to myself, ‘It’s only with God that you can survive such a thing.’
A former Director-General at the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Pastor Shyngle Wigwe was born on October 8, 1934 and a father of six.
His second son, Herbert Wigwe was the Co-founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc.
Last Friday, February 9, 2024, the younger Wigwe was said to have died following a helicopter crash in California near the Nevada border, United States of America.
On board were his wife, Chizoba, his son, Chizzy and the former Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), Abimbola Ogunbanjo.