Professor Tamunoemi Sokari David-West is dead. He dies at age 83.
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.
He 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.
Meanwhile President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep sorrow at the passage of his ally and friend, a man he usually calls “the indomitable Tam David-West.”
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.
Buhari, in a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, said “He had an indomitable spirit, stood resolutely by whatever he believed in, and was in a class of his own,”
The President also 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.”
He 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.