Prof. Tam David-West

Professor Tamunoemi Sokari David-West a consultant virologist of national and international standing and lecturer at the University of Ibadan for decades, is dead.

He was aged 83. He died at the University College Hospital, Ibadan on Monday at about 11 am, 11 days after he was admitted.

News of his transition was conveyed in a tribute by President Muhammadu Buhari.

David-West was Petroleum minister when Buhari was a military head of state between 1984 and 1985, at a time oil prices slumped to about $10 a barrel. David-West and his boss came up with a policy of ‘counter-trade’, to sell Nigeria’s oil.

President Muhammadu Buhari expressed deep sorrow at the death of his ally and friend, a man he usually called “the indomitable Tam David-West.”

“He had an indomitable spirit, stood resolutely by whatever he believed in, and was in a class of his own,” said President Buhari of the academic, author of many books, and social critic.

He commiserated 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 prayed 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.

Before he became a Federal minister in 1984, David-West served as Commissioner of Education in the old Rivers State. He also served as Minister of Mines, Power and Steel under Gen. Ibrahim Babangida regime.

David-West was born in Buguma, Kalabari, 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.