President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday expressed “deep sorrow” over the death of a former Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Prof Tam David-West.
David-West died on Monday at the age of 83. He served under Buhari’s military regime that started in 1983.
The President, who described the former minister as an “ally and friend”, said he usually called him ‘the indomitable Tam David-West.’
A State House statement conveying the President’s condolence, read partly, “Professor Tamunoemi Sokari David-West, 83, was a consultant virologist of national and international standing.
“He served as Commissioner of Education in the old Rivers State, Minister of Petroleum and Energy under the Muhammadu Buhari military regime, and Minister of Mines, Power and Steel under Gen. Ibrahim Babangida regime.”
It quoted Buhari as saying, “He had an indomitable spirit, stood resolutely by whatever he believed in, and was in a class of his own.”
The statement, which was signed by the President’s media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, recalled that David-West was an academic, author of many books and a social critic of repute.
“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”, it added.
Tam David-West spoke truth to power — APC
The All Progressives Congress said with David-West’s death, Nigeria had lost a progressive voice and social critic who spoke truth to power.
The APC National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement on Monday, described him as an erudite scholar, who always held our leaders to account on issues of good governance.
The statement said, “We recall his strong advocacy for oil sector reforms, particularly the passage of a mutually-beneficial Petroleum Industry Bill, fixing moribund refineries and ending the fuel subsidy racket that was a drainpipe on the country’s resources before the advent of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“While the death of the late patriot is painful and a sad loss, we take solace with the fact that he lived an accomplished and impactful life. In death, we remember and celebrate a man who served the country diligently and championed the cause of the poor and underprivileged.
“The party condoles with the late Tam David-West family members, friends, colleagues, the people and government of Rivers State. We pray the Almighty God gives them the strength to bear the loss.”
He was a great patriot, says Omo-Agege
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo -Agege, has described the late Prof. Tam David -West as a great patriot and intellectual of formidable standing at home and abroad.
Omo – Agege, in a statement by his media aide, Yomi Odunuga, on Monday said the late professor was one of those who truly left an indelible footprint on the sands of time.
He described David-West’s demise as a great loss to the nation.
He said, “My heart goes out to his family, the people of Buguma and the Kalabari Kingdom in Rivers State; a truly great son of the Niger Delta and a great Nigerian patriot has passed on at the age of 83.
“While we mourn, we must appreciate the noble essence of his time on earth as an idealist who consistently nursed an optimistic outlook about Nigeria’s capacity for genuine transformation.”
Senate President mourns David-West
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has David-West’s death.
Lawan, according to a statement by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi said David-West contributed immensely to the development of Nigeria as a teacher and political office holder.
The statement read, “Professor Tam David-West was a vocal social critic who lived what he preached and never compromised his principles all through his lifetime.
“He will be missed for his deep and frank analysis of social challenges.
“Aside from pointing directions from the ivory tower, when the calls came for him to serve at the highest level of government, he discharged his duties diligently and conscientiously,” Lawan said.
Also, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chibudom Nwuche, has expressed sadness over his death.
Nwuche described David-West as an illustrious son of Rivers State, a brilliant academic and a statesman.
Wike commiserates with family
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has commiserated with the family of late Professor Tam David-West, over the death of the erudite Professor of Virology.
The governor, in a statement on Monday signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications, Mr Paul Nsirim, described his death as a huge loss to the people of state.
Wike said, “Prof. David-West was an accomplished academician who served the country well in various capacities.”
He, however, prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest and the family, the fortitude to bear the loss.
Nigerians’ll remember David-West for stance on good governance — IYC
The Ijaw Youth Council has said that Nigerians will remember the late former minister for his consistent advocacy for good governance.
IYC President, Mr. Eric Omare, explained that David-West had always held strong opinion about the need for good governance in the country without apologies to anybody.
Omare, who spoke on Monday in a telephone chat with one of our correspondents, said, “Prof. Tam David-West would be remembered as one of few Nigerians who had very strong opinion on issues, especially with respect to the governance of the country.
“Again, in taking those positions, he owed nobody any apology. He remained one of the prominent petroleum ministers we have had in the history of Nigeria. We remember his exploits during the Ibrahim Babangida administration.
Omare, however, stated that the younger generation would be motivated by the octogenarian’s stance on good governance.
ASUU mourns his passing
The Academic Staff Union of Universities has described the late David-West as the custodian and repository of university culture.
The union described the late don as a great struggler who believed in one Nigeria.
The Chairman of ASUU, University of Ibadan, Prof. Deji Omole, while reacting to the death of the deceased octogenarian, stated that he was a supporter of the union.
Omole noted that the late don knew and articulated a clear vision of what a university ought to be.
“Tam David-West was a phenomenal success academically. He was a great struggler who believed in one Nigeria. He had a clear vision of what the university should be.
“He was a great fellow of our union especially at the branch who was always ready to assist whenever he was consulted.
“He was actually a custodian of the university tradition and culture, a repository and custodian of the university culture. The union will definitely miss him. He was among the last of the complete scholars,” ASUU added.
His final moments at UCH
For 11 days, former Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Prof Tam David-West, was admitted to private suit of the University College Hospital, Ibadan.
The Public Relations Officer of UCH, Mr Toye Akinrinlola, told The PUNCH that the former minister however died on Monday morning at 11:05.
Asked for further details, Akinrinlola simply said, “He was brought here over a week ago and admitted to a private suit.
‘’He died at 11:05am.”
A family member who escorted the deceased to the hospital but preferred anonymity said, “we took Baba to UCH precisely 11 days ago.
“The deceased had spent 11 days at UCH before he breathed his last. He was rushed to UCH when he fell sick.
“His children are already on their way to Ibadan,” he said.