No fewer than 36 cows belonging to an herdsman identified as Ladam were killed by thunder strike on Sunday in Ijare, Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The herder was said to be a popular farmer in the town and a prominent member of the Miyety Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN).
The animals were reportedly led to the mountain top of the community known as Oke-Owa regarded as a sacred place in the town by Fulani herdsmen when the thunder struck.
According to a source in the community, the incident was occasioned by the violation of the community’s customs which forbids strangers from entering the groove.
It was gathered that the herdsmen were warned against entering the groove but they failed to adhere.
The community was said to have been alerted of the incident by one of the community’s hunters in the early hours of Sunday.
Speaking on the development, the Sapetu of Ijare, Chief Wemimo Olaniran described the incident as an act of God stressing that, the development was not the first in the town.
“We were there this morning and we saw about 36 cows dead apart from the ones inside the bush. It has happened and there is nothing we can do. We regard it as the act of God.
“The place where the cows died is called ‘Owa’ normally visited once in a year by the Olujare, where he will stay for a day, he will be there for seclusion to perform some traditional rites and no individual is allowed to go to that place.
“Five days before now, we learnt that herdsmen were there and they built their tent there. We prayed to God to save us, to intervene because we don’t want anything to desecrate the place because it is a very special place as far as Ijare community is concerned.
The community leader who said it is forbidden for anyone to touch the dead cows, said “the dead cows would be there forever”
Reacting to the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer for the State Police Command, Femi Joseph described the incident as a natural disaster.