Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Former Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Prof Tam David-West, died in a private suite at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Oyo State around 11am on Monday, November 11, 2019.
A family source said the deceased spent 11 days at UCH before he breathed his last. According to the source, Prof. David West was rushed to UCH when he fell sick due to old age.The remains of David-West had been deposited at the morgue of the teaching hospital.
The source said children of the deceased, who hail from Rivers State, were on their way to Ibadan.
Public Relations Officer of UCH, Mr. Toye Akinrinlola, said the former minister breathed his last at 11:05a.m, yesterday, but declined to speak on the cause of death.
Tamunoemi Sokari David-West, popularly known as Tam David-West, was born on August 26, 1936, in Buguma, Kalabari in Rivers State.
He became a professor of virology in 1975 in the University of Ibadan, where he worked as consultant virologist and senior lecturer since 1969.
He studied at the University of Ibadan from 1956 to 1958 and Michigan State University from 1958 to 1960, where he bagged his Bachelor of Science degree. He proceeded to Yale University from 1960 to 1962 for his Masters of Science degree and obtained his PhD from McGill University in 1966. One significant event in the life of David-West, which he was unhappy with throughout his lifetime was his removal as minister and arrest by the regime of Gen Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) on a gift of gold wristwatch. He was subsequently imprisoned for many months before he was discharged and acquitted of these charges by a Special Appeal Court on August 8, 1991.
He was known as a staunch supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari and was very articulate in criticising government policies. Prof. David West, would, however, not criticise without suggesting better alternatives.