Buhari stated this at the commendation service for the deceased at the Chapel of the Resurrection, University of Ibadan, on Wednesday.
Represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Buhari described the deceased as a true democrat.
He said: “Nigerians should learn how to be straight forward, how to have zero tolerance for corruption that is what he stood for.
“That is the kind of attitude we need from Nigerians; if all of us should imbibe what David-West believed in, Nigeria will make more progress.’’
He recounted how the deceased worked assiduously to get him back to power and David-West defence against the tide of religious bigotry on advertorial newspaper pages.
In his remarks, Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo State said the deceased was a nationalist, saying: “You could described him as freedom fighter who believed in the course of Nigeria.
“He was a very principled man, a democrat almost an idealist. He had no tolerance for corruption and he spoke his mind when it mattered most.”
Obaseki, however, said that he would support the endowment fund set up for the best student in Virology at the University of Ibadan by the family of the late David-West.
Sylva speaking in his capacity as minister stated that the late David-West was an icon looked up to by many young people.
“ He was in the Ministry of Petroleum; I am now following in his footsteps in the Ministry of Petroleum.
“This is the time I had thought we really needed him. I personally needed him at this time to guide me in the discharge of my duty as a minister of state for petroleum.
“Unfortunately, he is gone but the Lord knows best. We are encouraged by the fact that he left beautiful and brilliant children that will continue to work with us,” Sylva said.
Adesina described David-West as someone the president has high regards for and one who relates well with people regardless of their class.
“So when David-West passed on the president genuinely grieved; they had a lot of things in common; integrity, incorruptibility, accountability and so many other attributes,” he said.
Also, Prof. David Olaleye of the Department of Virology, University of Ibadan, said that the deceased had worked to promote the study of Virology in Nigeria.
“He was one of the pioneers of Virology in Nigeria. He came at the early days of Virology study and contributed so much in training, mentoring, research and particularly in building up Virology study.
“You know how important virus is as an agent of diseases. He was in the forefront of the work that led to the discovery of a lot of new viruses in the country and we are grateful for this,” Olaleye said.
In his sermon entitled “Finishing Strong’’ Very Rev. Olufikayo Oyelade charged everyone to live with eternity in view.
“We are all pilgrims here on earth and every day of our lives is an indication that we are moving closer to eternal home,’’ Oyelade said.
In his vote of thanks, the deceased son, Benibo David-West, appreciated the president and others stakeholders who have showered the family with love since the demise of his father.
He, however, said that the family, in honour of the deceased, will start an endowment fund for best student in the Department of Virology, University of Ibadan.
David-West was born in Aug. 26, 1936 and died on Nov. 11, 2019. He was a renowned virologist and a former Minister of Petroleum and Energy