{joomplu:2441}{joomplu:2442}{joomplu:2443}Niger Delta militants protesting lack of payment of their "amnesty" allowances have blocked the major highway linking Nigeria's capital, Abuja, with Lokoja.  That cuts off the major artery to the south of the country. The militants are protesting against the handling of their allowances by the Presidential adviser handling the matter of re-integrating the militants, Mr. Timi Alaibe.
Reports from Abuja residents claim that the highway was blocked on the Abaji-Gwagwalada end of the road. Thousands of commuters are stranded as a result of the action.

Saharareporters learnt that about 1,000 militants arriving from Bayelsa State stormed Abuja early this morning with the aim of taking their protest to the presidency but were confronted by soldiers at Gwagwalada, on the outskirts of Abuja.
Last week in Cross River state, Mr. Alaibe was rough-handled by the militants at the "peace training” camp in Obubra, near Calabar, over the same issues.

Mr. Alaibe, who is known to have amassed a vast fortune during his headship of the Niger Delta Development Commission, was accused of embezzling funds meant for militants who voluntarily accepted government Amnesty last year.

The militants claim that instead of paying them monetary allowances for resettlement, Mr. Alaibe brought in expatriates to teach them "peace."

Reports from Abuja say that Alaibe has accused the Governor of Bayelsa State, Timi Sylva, of being the brain behind the militants’ action to storm Abuja today, thereby creating panic. Both Alaibe and Sylva are eyeing the governorship of the oil-rich Bayelsa State and have been locked in a battle of wits.

Saharareporters sources said that the leaders of the rampaging militants are meeting with government officials to discuss their grievances while the rest are hanging around the blockade area in anticipation of further protests.

But the security nightmare in Abuja may not be over as words have come from some core northern states that Islamic fundamentalists also plan to storm Abuja to welcome the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is expected to visit Nigeria as part of the D-8 conference of developing nations. 

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