• Monarch’s palace razed
From KOFA KINGS, Ughelli and PAUL OSUYI, Asaba
Mayhem sparked by irate youths in Jesse community in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State has claimed the lives of a soldier and eight others, just as the palace of the traditional ruler, Ovie of Idjerhe kingdom, Ertiekevwe 1 was set ablaze.
The violence followed an allegation that a suspected assassin, who was caught by the Jesse youths and brought to the palace of the ruler, escaped allegedly under the royal father’s watchful eyes.
Daily Sun gathered that in an attempt to raze the king’s palace, the faction loyal to him and the opposing side engaged in a fierce battle.
Eight persons including a woman and a soldier were feared to have died after the dust settled. According to a source, who preferred anonymity, the Jesse youths were irked by the activities of some suspected assassins, who had been terrorizing, raping women and manhandling helpless farmers in the community. Infuriated by the activities of the suspected assassins, believed to be Fulani herdsmen, the youths invaded the bush and caught a suspect believed to be a native of Jesse community but confessed to be carrying out the illicit acts alongside three other Fulani herdsmen and another native of the community currently at large.
Continuing, he said the Jesse native caught in the act was suspected to be a member of a factional group in the community opposed to the traditional ruler’s administration. According to the source, when the suspect was taken to the king’s palace, most of the youths demanded that he should be killed immediately but the king overruled them, insisting that he be handed over to the police. It was further gathered that the king called the police who later came to arrest and whisked the suspect away to the police station.
The youths, irked by the king’s decision, razed down the palace. It took the intervention of the police to rescue the king, while men of the Military Joint Task Force, in the process of trying to stop the youths from further damage, allegedly shot seven youths and a woman dead.
When the Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Charles Muka, was contacted, he confirmed the report, but said three persons died, one was injured while 12 persons were arrested. At the time of filing this report, more soldiers had been deployed in Jesse community to restore normalcy.