Pandemonium has broken out in the ancient agrarian settlement of Mbiri, Ika North Local Government Area of Delta State, following the decision of some enraged youths of the community to crown a dead prince as the monarch of the kingdom.
The situation was caused by the sudden death of the crown prince, Ifeanyi Evans Alekwe, at Kika Clinic, in nearby Umunede, on Sunday.
Members of the community, who grieved over the death of the crown prince, took his remains and laid it on the traditional crowning stool and made him king.
As a result of the palace invasion, the whereabouts of the king, Obi Alekwe I, has remained unknown as at press time, a development that has further heightened the growing tension in the community.
A highly placed palace source described the action of the youths as a desecration of traditional institution, which must be cleansed before the resumption of any traditional activity.
But the action of the youths, another source claimed, was informed by what they suspect as “spiritual foul play” aimed at eliminating the heir-apparent.
According to the source, the crown prince was allegedly poisoned.
He said the deceased was full of life earlier on Sunday before the news of his sudden passage.
The source insisted that it was an “abomination for the Crown Prince to die while his father is still alive and on the throne”.
While the act has been regarded as a desecration of the stool, the event has been overshadowed by the actions of individuals who suspect foul play in the death of the heir to the throne.
Mbiri, which is one of the oldest farm settlements in the country, has an ancient stool of succession which is patrilineal and hereditary.