The military command in Borno State, on Monday, set ablaze four vehicles allegedly belonging to the Boko Haram. The vehicles were intercepted while transporting motorcycle spare parts and fuel.
The vehicles, according to the Theatre Commander, Olusegun Adeniyi, were reportedly intercepted by soldiers at different locations in Borno State between August 28 and September 1.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported how four vehicles loaded with smoked fish and hides believed to be from Boko Haram were seized and publicly incinerated by the military.
On Monday, the four vehicles, comprising three salon cars and a Toyota pickup van were intercepted by soldiers.
The governments has outlawed the use of all kinds of motorcycles for both private and commercial use.
The ban came into force about eight years ago, when it became known that Boko Haram fighters were using the motorcycles to carry out deadly attacks.
The vehicles burnt on Monday reportedly had banned items carefully concealed under other items like tent sacks and plastic mats.
The vehicles also had fuel concealed in large jars disguised as red palm oil.
The owners of the confiscated vehicles were reportedly unable to give a cogent explanation.
‘Conniving with insurgents’
Mr Adeniyi, a major-general, said “the suspects and their vehicles would be treated as connivers of Boko Haram”.
Speaking with journalists at the outskirts of Maiduguri, Mr Adeniyi said “his command’s war against Boko Haram logistics has just begun”.
He said “Boko Haram insurgents without logistics “is a finished Boko Haram”.
The theater commander said such supplies illegally or secretly procured, “are the ones helping the insurgents to survive in the bush.”
“I am making a strong appeal to all Nigerians to help expose Boko Haram logisticians. We all know there are no petrol stations in the so-called hideouts of Boko Haram in Sambisa, in Alagarno, Baga and Gwoza hill; only logistics, obtained from Maiduguri and Damaturu and other secured locations can sustain Boko Haram.
“Our men at our checkpoints, caught these four Boko Haram logisticians who are actually Boko Haram members themselves, driving a large logistics which they intended to go and deliver to Boko Haram,” he said.
“The logistics include all kinds of spare parts of motorcycles, diesel concealed as palm oil by smearing the jars caps with palm oil.
“We all know motorcycles are banned both in the cities and hinterlands of Borno and having them transporting the spare parts to the bushes is a clear attempt to help Boko Haram replenish their supplies.”
The general said the vehicles also contained a large quantity of food including over 1000 loaves of bread.
He said soldiers have been given orders to look out for vehicles with ‘enlarged’ tanks.
“Anyone caught will be arrested and made to expose which of the fuel filling station such fuel was dispensed; and everyone involved would be treated as Boko Haram suspect.”
It was gathered that the four burnt vehicles contained ten units of motorcycle batteries, 63 tubes, 18 motorcycle tyres, 50 rockets and chains, five motorcycle block engines, 31 motorcycle engine valves, 180 clutch cables, 91 motorcycle throttle cables, and an unconfirmed large number of spark plugs.
Other confiscated and burnt items comprised one bag of rice, ten bags of maize flour, 50 litres of diesel, and 1000 loaves of bread.
Mr Adeniyi said one of the burnt vehicles, a Peugeot 504 salon, was once burnt after the driver was arrested carrying Boko Haram supplies.
“But the owner went back to retrieve the body of the car fixed it and then put it back on the road for the same criminal activity, ” he said.
The four suspects, Musa Muhammed, Abubakar Mustafa, Goni Umar and Ali Alibe, were also present when the cars were burnt.
The suspects said they regretted their actions even as none of them denied the allegation of being Boko Haram “collaborators”.