Mr Chibuike Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation and Dr Dakuku Peterside, the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), have expressed shock over the demise of Prof. Tamunoemi David-West, a former Petroleum Minister.
Amaechi, in a text message to the Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday, said that the death of Prof David-West was a sad development.
He described the late Professor of Virology as a man known for his integrity and strong character which made him to be a friend of a decent Muslim, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“It’s a very sad incident of a human legend, and the nation has really lost a patriot whose integrity was never compromised.
“David-West creditably served well as Commissioner for Education in Rivers and contributed greatly to the growth of the petroleum industry as Minister of Petroleum,” he said.
Amaechi prayed to God to fill the vacuum created by the exit of David-West in his family, Rivers and Nigeria.
Also, Dr Dakuku Petetside, the NIMASA Director-General, in a statement, described the death of the renowned virologist and social critic as a huge loss to Nigeria and humanity.
Peterside described David-West as a colossus who contributed immensely to the growth and development of Nigeria.
“Our dear Professor David-West was such a giant in academics, administration, education, public discourse and an excellent statesman.
“For all of his 83 years on earth, he fought for a better society through his intellect, resources, connection and sweat. He spoke boldly to power and stood by his conviction.
“Rivers state has lost one of her illustrious sons who brought glory and honour to the state through appointments, service and research,” he said.
The NIMASA director-general said that as Commissioner for Education in Rivers, the late David-West contributed immensely to building of schools in several communities in addition to Rivers indigenes getting scholarship to go to school.
“He was a forthright man, his words were his bond. Once he believes in a cause, he stays by it, he never wavered. He was such a principled man that could not be swayed by riches or money.
“His legacies are sufficient demonstration of how he impacted on humanity. He helped produce generations of leaders at the University of Ibadan where he taught for several years until he retired.
“Despite his age, he continued to add his voice to progressive causes and contributed immensely to the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and 2019,” he added.
Peterside recalled the support the late David-West offered him during his 2015 gubernatorial campaign in Rivers State, adding that his words of wisdom proved very relevant.
He condoled with his family, the academic community, President Muhammadu Buhari and Rivers people over his demise.