It what was described as mysterious, 36 cows were reportedly struck dead on Saturday by thunder bolt on top of a sacred hill at Ijare town in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The hill known as ‘Oke Owa’ is located on the outskirts of the sleepy community.
Sources said only the town’s monarch (Olujare) and some chiefs normally visit the town once in a year. This is usually during the celebration of the new yam festival to perform some rituals.
An indigene of the town said the incessant striking of thunder bolts accompanied the evening rain made them suspecting the strange occurence.
It was learnt that nobody knew that the thunder had actually caused havoc until a hunter came in the morning to reveal that during his hunting expedition, he saw some dead cows on the hilltop.
This development gingered the traditional ruler of the town, the Olujare of Ijare, Oba Adebamigbe Oluwagbemigun Kokotiri 11 to send delegation of chiefs to report to the police and visited the scene to assess what actually happened.
The incident consequently attracted several people in the community especially youths who trooped to the hill top.
At the hilltop, there were 36 dead cows lying flatly on the ground without any mark on their bodies.
Speaking with reporters, the Olujare of Ijare, who spoke through his second in command, Chief Wemimo Olaniran, the Sapetu of Ijare, said it was an act of God.
The Sapetu of Ijare said the herdsmen had been destroying their farmland for a very long time which had led to confrontation on many occasions.
He said it was surprising to them when they heard five days ago that some Fulanis were ascending the sacred hill to settle after they had destroyed many farmlands and created fears in the minds of the people.
He said: ”We were there this morning and we saw about 36 cows dead apart from the one inside the bush. It has happened and there is nothing we can do, we regards it as the act of God which nobody can be query.
“There had been occasions like that but not as massive we are having it now, to some individuals who desecrated the land. In the past we did witnessed thunderbolt attack, when you desecrated any part of Ijare particularly the sacred places.
“The dead cows will be there for ever it is part of the history in our land for people to see as testimony in future that such a things happens, a whole Oba buried there live and heaven did not fall talk less of ordinary cows.
“Oke-Owa is a sacred hill where the Oba and some of his chiefs visited once a year during new yam festival to offer sacrifices on behalf of the community.
”Even those chiefs accompanying the Oba must not go to the inner part of the hill because there is a particular place where only the Oba have to enter and spend a night.
“This is a hill that the herdsmen wanted to desecrate with their herds. It is a taboo. When we heard about the incident, we invited the herdsmen and they confirmed that it was thunder that struck the cows.
”We went to the police station to report the matter and the Divisional Police Officer was contacted before chiefs including myself went there.
“Those cows would remain there and rotten because nobody must touch them otherwise there would be problem”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Ondo State Command, Femi Joseph, confirmed that the matter was reported at Ijare Police Station.
Joseph described the incident as a natural disaster that is unfortunate and which nobody can do anything about.