Monday, November 11, 2019 3:48 pm
The former Minister of Petroleum, Professor Tam David-West has been confirmed dead. He was 83.
Although, the cause of his death is not known,the magazine gathered that he died at the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan around 11:05 this morning.
According to a reliable source, he was admitted into the hospital about eleven days ago, when he was rushed in for medical attention.
The source said, “He was rushed to UCH 11 days ago. He was in private suite until this morning when he passed on. As regards his ailment, l don’t know”.
His body has been deposited at the hospital mortuary.
It was gathered that his children and family members were already on their way to Ibadan at the time of filing this report.
Up till his death, the deceased was said to be living in the Guest House of the University of Ibadan Conference Centre.
Buhari mourns him.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in a statement signed by his spokesman , Femi Adesina mourns him:
“He had an indomitable spirit, stood resolutely by whatever he believed in, and was in a class of his own,” says President Buhari of the academic, author of many books, and social critic.
He commiserates with the David-West family, the people of Buguma, Kalabari Kingdom of Rivers State, the academia, and all those who loved “the forthright Tam David-West.”
President Buhari prays that God will rest the soul of the committed nationalist, urging all those who believe in the ideals he espoused to approximate same, for the betterment of Nigeria, and humanity in general.
David-West was born in Buguma, Kalabari, on 26 August 1936 in what is now Rivers State. He received his higher education at the University of Ibadan (1956–1958) and earned a BSc degree at Michigan State University (1958–1960), an MSc degree at Yale University (1960–1962), and a PhD degree at McGill University (1964–1966). David-West was consultant virologist and senior lecturer at the University of Ibadan in 1969 and was subsequently promoted to professor of virology in 1975.
David-West served in Nigerian government as commissioner of education and a member of the Executive Council of Rivers State (1975–1979), as a member of the fifty-person Constitution Drafting Committee for the Federal Military Government of General Murtala Muhammed (1979), as federal minister of petroleum and energy under General Muhammadu Buhari (1984–1985), and as minister of mines, power, and steel under General Ibrahim Babangida (1986).
He was eventually removed as minister and arrested by the Babangida regime for allegedly contributing to the economic adversity of the country; He was discharged and acquitted of these charges by Nigeria’s Special Appeal Court on 8 August 1991
David-West was an outspoken and controversial critic of Nigerian government policy since his purge and arrest under the military regime of General Babangida. David-West criticized the unconstitutionality of the advisory council established by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010, and he voiced caution against government unreservedly opening its doors to United States intelligence.
Although he was not affiliated with any political party, David-West supported Chibuike Amaechi of the right-wing-leaning People’s Democratic Party for reelection as governor of Rivers State.