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Buhari, Wike, Omo-Agege, APC, VC mourn as David-West dies at 83


Tam David-West

President Muhammadu Buhari, Deputy Senate President Omo-Agege and the leaderships of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have paid tributes to former Minister of Petroleum, Prof. Tam David-West who passed on yesterday at 83 during a brief illness at the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Oyo State.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari regretted the passage of his ally and friend, a man he usually calls “the indomitable Tam David-West.”The Buguma, Kalabari, Rivers State-born consultant virologist was Commissioner of Education and Minister of Mines, Power and Steel.

The president noted: “He had an indomitable spirit, stood resolutely by whatever he believed in, and was in a class of his own.” He commiserated with the David-West family, the people of Buguma, the academia, and all those who loved “the forthright Tam David-West.” Besides, Governor Nyesom Wike has labelled the don’s death as a huge loss to the people of Rivers where he served as commissioner in the early 1970s.

In a condolence message, he said: “Prof. David-West was an accomplished academic who served the country well in various capacities.” Also in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunuga yesterday in Abuja, Omomo-Agege described the deceased as a great patriot and intellectual of formidable standing at home and abroad, adding that he was one of those who “truly left an indelible footprint on the sands of time.”He termed the demise as a great loss to the nation.

To the APC, the nation “has lost a progressive voice and social critic who spoke truth to power. An erudite scholar, the late Tam David-West always held our leaders to account on issues of good governance.“We recall his strong advocacy for oil sector reforms, particularly the passage of a mutually-beneficial Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), fixing of the moribund refineries and ending of the fuel subsidy racket that was a drainpipe on the country’s resources before the advent of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.”

Moreover, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan (UI), Prof. Abel Idowu Olayinka, has pointed out that David-West’s passage “is a big loss to the academic family all over the world”, stressing that the vacuum would be difficult to fill.

But to the UI chapter chairman of ASUU, Professor Deji Omole, the late Rivers indigene was a custodian and repository of university culture, noting that he was a great struggler who believed in one Nigeria.


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