No fewer than 36 cows belonging to a Fulani herdsman identified as Ladam were said to have been killed when thunder struck in Ijare, Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The owner of the cows was said to be a popular farmer in the town and a prominent member of the Miyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria.
The cows 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 Fulani 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 its 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.
Olaniran said: “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 Fulani men 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 revealed it is forbidden for anyone to touch the dead cows, said they would be there forever.
Reacting to the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer for the Ondo State Police Command, Femi Joseph, described it as a natural disaster.