Tuesday, November 12, 2019 12:06 am
Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan, Okafor Ifiebor/Port Harcourt
Tributes are pouring in from across the country and all walks of life for Tam David-West, a University of Ibadan Professor of Virology who died on Monday morning at University of Ibadan Teaching Hospital where he has been on admission for treatment of yet to be disclosed illness since eleven days ago.
Professor David-West who died at 83 was also Nigeria’s former minister of petroleum and was said was said to be living in the Guest House of the University of Ibadan Conference Centre as at the time of his death
The President’s condolence message was conveyed in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Monday.
President Buhari said of the academic, author of many books and social critic: “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’s family, the people of Buguma, Kalabari Kingdom of Rivers State, the academia, and all those who loved “the forthright Tam David-West.”
The President prayed that God would rest the soul of the committed nationalist, urging all those who believed in the ideals he espoused to approximate same for the betterment of Nigeria and humanity in general.
He could never be forgotten – University of Ibadan
In the same vein, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka described death of David-West as a big loss to the academic family all over the world, stressing that the vacuum left by the deceased would be difficult to fill.
According to a statement by the University’s Director of Public Communication, Mr. Olatunji Oladejo, the VC said, “Late Prof. David West was a mentor of many generations of virologists all over the world. Even in retirement, he was still very useful to the academic family”.
Olayinka noted that the contributions of the deceased to the nation could never be forgotten.
He had a clear vision of what the university should be – ASUU
Also, the Chairman Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Ibadan chapter, Professor Deji Omole noted that throughout his life time, David West was a supporter of the union.
He described the deceased as a ‘great struggler’ who believed in one Nigeria.
Pointing out that the late don knew and articulated a clear vision of what a University ought to be, Omole stated, “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 and always ready to assist whenever we call on him at the branch level. He was actually a custodian of the university tradition and culture. The union will definitely miss him. He was among the last of the complete scholars”.
“Prof. David-West was an accomplished academician who served the country well in various capacities, ” he said.
Nigeria has lost a progressive who speaks truth to power – APC
The ruling All Progressives Congress said with the death of Prof. Tam David-West, Nigeria 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 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,” in a statement signed by Malam Isa Onilu, its spokesperson.