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Tamunoemi Sokari David-West (August 26, 1936 – November 11, 2019[1]) was a Nigerian academic, social critic, and federal minister.


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 (1964–1966). David-West was consultant virologist and senior lecturer at the University of Ibadan in 1969 and was subsequently promoted to professor of virology in 1975.[2]


David-West 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.[2]


David-West was an outspoken and controversial critic of Nigerian government policy since his purge and arrest under the military regime of General Babangida. David-West criticized the unconstitutionality of the advisory council established by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010,[3] and he voiced caution against government unreservedly opening its doors to United States intelligence.[4] Although he was not affiliated with any political party, David-West supported Chibuike Amaechi of the right-wing-leaning People's Democratic Party for reelection as governor of Rivers State.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

David-West died on 11 November 2019.[6] His death was mourned by President Muhammadu Buhari.


David-West is the author of academic papers in virology that have appeared in scholarly journals such as Journal of Pathology and Bacteriology (1966),[7] Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (1973),[8] Intervirology (1974),[9] and Journal of Hygiene (1974).[10] He also wrote the book Philosophical Essays: Reflections on the Good Life (1980), in which he describes himself as a follower of British analytic philosopher and social critic Bertrand Russell.[11] David-West's lecture in philosophy “God, Nature and the Universe” (1981) was delivered at the University of Ibadan.[12]


  1. ^ "Tam David-West dies at 83".
  2. ^ a b Odimegwu Onwumere, "Amaechi, David-West and I," Research Nexus, 11 April 2011.
  3. ^ "The Nation Newspaper Nigeria - Read Latest Nigeria News". The Nation Nigeria. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  4. ^ Tunde Babalola, "Tam David West Warns FG over Al Qaeda," African Examiner, 14 May 2011; Bisi Oladele, "Leave Nigeria Alone, David-West Warns US," Nation, 12 April 2010.
  5. ^ Muhammad Bello, "David West, Horsfall, Isokariari Endorse Amaechi," AllAfrica, 18 March 2011.
  6. ^ "Ex-Minister of Petroleum, Tam David-West, is dead". Premium Times. 2019-11-11.
  7. ^ David-West, Tam S (1966). "The standardisation of some immunodiffusion systems in agar gel". Journal of Pathology and Bacteriology. 92 (2): 477–489. doi:10.1002/path.1700920227. ISSN 0368-3494. OCLC 4635611480. PMID 4960546.
  8. ^ David-West, Tam.S (1973). "Dugbe virus: a new tick-borne arbovirus from Nigeria". Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 67 (4): 438. doi:10.1016/0035-9203(73)90062-x. ISSN 0035-9203. OCLC 4650920341. PMID 4785446.
  9. ^ David-West, Tam.S (2004). "Biological Studies and Plaquing of Mokola Virus (Rabies Serogroup) in Porcine Kidney (PS) Cells". Intervirology. 4 (6): 346–353. doi:10.1159/000149869. ISSN 0300-5526. OCLC 4631822053. PMID 4465332.
  10. ^ David-West, Tam. S (1974). "Biophysical and immunological studies on the differential effect of guanidine hydrochloride on type A and type B influenza viruses". Journal of Hygiene. 72 (1): 31–39. doi:10.1017/s0022172400023172. ISSN 0022-1724. OCLC 4669187484. PMC 2130266. PMID 4522244.
  11. ^ David-West, Tam. S (1980). Philosophical essays: reflections on the good life. Ibadan, Nigeria: T.S. David-West. ISBN 9783000705. OCLC 8533648.
  12. ^ David-West, Tam. S; University of Ibadan; Laboratory Technology Training Scheme (1981). God, nature and the universe. Ibadan, Nigeria: University of Ibadan. OCLC 23112380.