Pandemonium struck Idjerhe (Jesse) Kingdom in Ethiope-West Local Government Area of Delta State on Tuesday morning when Soldiers opened fire on rampaging youths killing six persons and 25 others left
The problem started when a search party of villagers captured a man, alleged to be a ritualist, and brought him to the palace of the king, expecting that he would give a go ahead to unleash jungle justice on the suspect.
Instead, the traditional ruler called on the Joint Task Force JTF to help rescue the suspected ritualist from being lynched by the irate youths.
The situation become worst "when the irate youths tried to stop the soldiers who came lawfully take away the suspect and that made the soldiers to shoot indiscriminately, gunning down about three persons in the first instance, another person later died" a source said.
Hell was let loose in Jesse when the people saw that some persons had been shot dead.
In a reprisal attack, the irate youths set ablaze the palace of Ovie of Idjerhe, His Royal Majesty, Erhikevwe I.
An eyewitness said: "Three persons were killed at first, but the death toll increased later, as the youths continued their attack on soldiers."
However the Soldiers rescued the embattled monarch away from the palace to save place.
Another villager said, "Jesse is on fire, soldiers are everywhere, there is tension, nobody knows what is going to happen next. This is disastrous."
Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Charles Muka said investigation into the crisis is in progress.
At about 2.00 pm, Muka called to confirm that three persons were shot dead, one hospitalised and 12 others arrested in connection with the incident, adding that the Police did not shoot anybody.
As at 10.00 am, soldiers had taken over the streets of Jesse, while some of those injured were seen being taken to the hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile the Delta State House of Assembly in a swift response, adopted a motion calling on Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan to quickly direct the state Commissioner of Police and other security agencies to move into Jesse to restore peace and order.
The motion which came under matter of urgent public importance, was moved by John Nani, representing Ethiope West Local Government Area and was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers.
Nani said there was the urgent need to stop the crisis to allow proper investigation into the matter.
Other legislators, including Monday Igbuya, Efe Ofobruku, Dennis Omovie, Keston Okoro who spoke on the issue stressed the need to deploy security agents to Jesse in order to forestall spillover of the crises.
Deputy speaker, Basil Ganagana who presided over the sitting also condemned the crisis in Jesse