The purported resignation of the Minister of Defence, retired Gen. Mohammed Aliyu Gusau, is far from the truth, according to the Nigeria Security Watch Forum.
The group maintained that the resignation story was contrive by the minister’s aides to force the federal government to concede to his requests that the service chiefs report directly to him instead of the President.
A communique signed by its President, Mr. Abubakar Danbaki, said, “Without mincing words, the purpose of the sponsored story was to influence and possibly force the President into making a decision between Gusau, the Chief of Defence Staff and the three Service Chiefs.
“It was a cheap blackmail that obviously backfired and fell flat on its surface owing to the fact that as watchers and keen observers of the security sector, we know as a matter of fact, that General Gusau wants the CDS and the Service Chiefs to report directly to him.
“Gusau wants to control all the security apparatus including the office of the National Security Adviser without an enabling legislation. The question is to what level of control does he want and to what extent? Is it to award contracts or to determine military postings?
“We know as a fact that when General Abdulrhaman Dambazu was the Chief of Army Staff, nobody asked to vet his appointments. Why then must General Gusau want to vet the appointments made by the Chief of Army Staff, when he has been fair and just in his appointments?,” the forum queried stressing that Gusau merely wants to control apparatus of government.
Further, the forum said since the appointment of the Service Chiefs are strictly based on competence and therefore not on political consideration, it faulted attempts by the aides of the Defence minister to bring political connotation in the a strictly military matter.