How Gaddafi recruited Nigerians into Libyan Army
IT emerged, on Wednesday, that ousted Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, recruited several young Nigerians into his armed forces in his heyday.
Security sources told the Nigerian Tribune that the former Libyan leader targeted young university graduates, who were about going for the youth service.
A security expert told the Nigerian Tribune that the deposed Libyan leader had a network through which he identified young Nigerians who could be recruited into the Libyan army and other forces.
Another source said that the former Libyan leader usually offered those recruits scholarships and opportunity to pursue lifetime career in the Libyan Armed Forces.
It was learnt that the Libyan leader deliberately did not restrict the recruitment drive to a section of the country and that while many from the North and South-East took up offers in the military, those from the South-West and South-South usually did not take up the offer.
It was also gathered that the development lasted many years and that many of those recruited were encouraged to leave the youth service for a more promising career in the Libyan Armed Forces.
A source said that one young man from the South-East approached by Gaddafi's agents once asked for advice after receiving a letter of offer to serve in the Libyan army.
"You have to note that the anger of the militants, who are fighting Gaddafi, against Nigerians initially was largely fuelled by the realisation that many Nigerians were actually recruited by Gaddafi and were part of the last vestiges of resistance for Libya's long-standing leader," a source told the Nigerian Tribune.
The source further said that the Libyan leader was told that Nigerian youths generally faced difficulties of unemployment after graduation. He was said to usually target graduating students, who fulfilled the requirements for military recruitment.
"He (Gaddafi) saw the advantage of getting Nigerians into his armed forces since he knew that many of them were aware they would be roaming the streets of Nigeria after graduation. Through the process he got many recruits,” the source said, adding that many northern youths, who also travelled to Libya for studies, ended up in the military.
Meanwhile, Moussa Ibrahim, Gadaffi's spokes-man has been arrested, a local Libyan television reported on Thursday.
According to Freedom TV based in Misrata in northwestern Libya, Ibrahim was arrested by fighters of the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) on Wednesday night near Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte.
The television quoted a NTC fighter as saying that the former spokesperson of Gaddafi mixed himself into a group of local villagers who were fleeing Sirte, where prolonged fighting were going on between NTC forces and remnant Gaddafi loyalists.
The report said the footage of Ibrahim's arrest would be broadcast once he is sent to a safe place.
Meanwhile, Interpol has issued an international alert calling for help in finding and arresting Gaddafi's son, Saadi.
The international police agency said on Thursday it issued a "red notice" at the request of provisional authorities in Libya, where an warrant has been issued for Saadi Gaddafi's arrest.