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Published On: Thu, Mar 13th, 2014

Rift Amongst Security Chiefs Raises Fears of Minister`s Resignation

Aliyu Gusau

LAGOS MARCH 13TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The battle for supremacy between National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki and newly sworn-in Minister of Defence, General Aliyu Gasau may have led to the alleged exit of the latter, exactly a week after his swearing-in.
Although the Army, Navy and Air Force are supervised by the Ministry of Defence, which is headed by Minister Gusau, all the service chiefs are loyal to the NSA Dasuki, who is a junior to the minister.
This leaves serious questions on who is exactly in charge, as Dasuki, being National Security Adviser coordinates all the security agents, meaning that Gusau ordinarily ought to report to him. However, in the Military, a senior officer (Gusau, in this case) never reports to a junior officer (NSA, in this case), both during and after their service years.
Aliyu Gasau was already a General as at the 80s when Dasuki was just an Aide-de-Camp to former Military Head of State, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babngida.

Not only was Gusau a General at that time, he was by far one of the country’s most influential soldiers. He was a player in the 27th August 1985 coup with which Babangida upstaged then Military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari. Considering his enormous influence as Director of Military Intelligence (DMI), he was placed under intense surveillance, which meant the coup leaders had little time to act.
When the coup ended, he was appointed Director of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA); and from September 1985 to August 1986, he was Acting Director-General of the NSO. He was subsequently Coordinator on National Security from August 1986 to December 1989. Gusau it was who reorganized the security and intelligence apparatuses into the State Security Services (SSS), National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI).
He was also General Officer Commanding 2 Mechanised Division, Ibadan between December 1989 and August 1990; and Chief of Administration, Defence Headquarters, Lagos from August 1990 to February 1992. He was Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna from February 1992 to January 1993, when he was named National Security Advisor.
Gusau retired from the Army far back in 1993, after General Sani Abacha replaced him with Chris Alli as Chief of Army Staff (COAS). He subsequently became Chairman & Chief Executive of Alpha Public Affairs Consultancy from until President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him NSA in May 1999.
Meanwhile, Dasuki, the current NSA, was appointed in June 2012, following the removal of General Owoye Andrew Azazi (rtd.). He received military trainings at both home and foreign institutions, such as the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA); US Army Field Artillery School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma; U.S Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He also attended American University, Washington DC where he bagged a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations; and George Washington University, Washington DC where he obtained an MA in Security Policy Studies.
He was also born to one of the most powerful and elitist families in the North. Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, the former Sultan of Sokoto deposed late General Sani Abacha, is his father; while Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the incumbent Sultan of Sokoto and head of the Nigerian Muslim community, is his Uncle.
However, as at when Gusau was important to national scheming under Babngida, Dasuki was babangida’s Aide-de-camp, which is why the service chiefs did not know what to do when Gusau and Minister of State for Defence, Musikilu Obanikoro summoned them to a meeting. Each of the service chiefs made excuses, and for two days, none of them honoured the meeting.
Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh eventually turned up single-handedly for the meeting, saying he was representing all other military officers. He also snubbed Obanikoro’s attempt to intervene, and warned him that the Military would not be ordered around by “bloody civilians”.
It is believed that Gusau ended the meeting at that point and directed the permanent secretary in the ministry to transmit his letter of resignation to President Goodluck Jonathan.
However, both Gusau and the Presidency have since denied the rumoured resignation.
“About two hours or so, there was a report by an online medium alleging that the Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen. Aliyu Gusau resigned his appointment”, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity”, Dr. Reuben Abati told State House correspondents.
“This is to let you know that that story is untrue. Gen. Gusau remains in office as Minister of Defence. He was absent from today’s meeting of the Federal Executive Council, and this particular online medium sighted this in support of its allegation that he had resigned.
“Well, he was absent from today’s meeting with the permission of President Jonathan. So the story is not true; he remains in office and he himself has already dismissed the story as untrue. But I think this further clarification is necessary before we are confronted with a situation where all kinds of wild speculations begin to come up and the story begins to develop and grow various branches”
.Source: Huhuonline

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