Boko Haram has been forced to produce its own fuel to power its motorbikes because of an acute petrol shortage caused by a military squeeze on supply lines.
Vanguard reports that a senior military source said the Islamists were paying huge sums of money for jerrycans of fuel while a woman who recently escaped from the group said they were making groundnut oil into biodiesel.
“Boko Haram were paying outrageous sums to get fuel and the incredible profit margin made young men defy the risk and take fuel to them,” said the source in Maiduguri.
“The cutting off of fuel supplies has badly crippled Boko Haram and that has been made possible by blocking all identified supply routes and the crackdown on the suppliers,” he told AFP.
Fuel vendors seeking to exploit the group’s need for fuel could sell each 25-litre jerrycan for 50,000 to 70,000 naira each, said escapee Ya-Mairam Ya-Malaye.
Babakura Kolo, a civilian vigilante assisting the military against the Islamic State group affiliate in Maiduguri, said the militants would pay any amount to get fuel. “It was a lucrative business for the fuel vendors,” said Kolo, who was involved in the crackdown against Boko Haram suppliers in the city.
“But we have taken care of them and Boko Haram are feeling the crunch because they are out of supplies.”
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