Former military president Gen. Ibrahim  Babangida has waded into the impasse enveloping the defence establishment with service chiefs reportedly resisting attempts by the defence minister, Aliyu Gusau, to supervise them.

The former president played the peacemaking role in a telephone conversation initiated by the minister on Thursday. After speaking with Gusau, the phone was passed on to the minister of state for defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, and then the chief of defence staff, Alex Badeh.

The former president was said to have urged them all to let calmer heads prevail.

It is  also gathered that, much later that day, the national security adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, initiated his own call to the former president. IBB reportedly urged him to let bygones be bygones.

Media reports during the week were filled with tales of how the service chiefs on Monday disagreed with the directive of Gusau to have them answerable to him.

The defence chief felt there was no need for an intermediary between them and President Goodluck Jonathan, telling the minister ?we are accountable to the commander-in-chief sir?. Gusau?s absence at the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting led to the speculation of his resignation but both the Ministry of Defence and the Presidency denied the story.

Since the return to democracy in 1999, three military generals have served as the defence minister to date. The other two that had served before Gusau were General TY Danjuma and Major General Godwin Abbe. But neither of the two suffered this unpleasant experience.


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