The Ondo State Police Command has described the ‘sudden death’ of over thirty cattle in the state as “natural disaster”.
The police also debunked reports making the rounds that they may have been poisoned by rural farmers.
A strange thunder caused apprehension at Ijare community in Ifedore Local Government Area of the state after striking the cows to death.
Some herdsmen were said to have climbed to the top of Oke-Owa hill in the community to graze their cows when lightning struck the herds to death.
The hill, according to reports, is a sacred place where the king of the community performs some rituals annually.
An online newspaper quoted sources in the community as saying the incident was the wrath of their gods on the herdsmen.
The source quoted the sources as saying that the gods were angry because herdsmen desecrated the sacred land.
The herdsmen were said to have been warned against grazing on the sacred mountain by the community’s chiefs, but that they were adamant.
Reacting, High Chief Wemimo Olaniran, the Sapetu of Ijare kingdom, said the incident was not strange to the community.
Olaniran said similar events had happened to people who desecrated the sacred mountain in the past.
According to him, the incident of thunder striking to kill was spiritual and it had to be addressed spiritually by the community.
He said, “The community will do the traditional ritual on the matter after which we have the arrangement to bury the dead cows . May be the government would do something about the cows later.
“This is necessary because anything killed by the thunder, you can not do anything about it until certain traditional rituals are performed. So that is what the community is trying to do now.”
The traditional chief and legal practitioner also allayed the fears that the Fulani herdsmen would cause crisis as a result of the incident, saying the lightening was not caused by anybody but those who entered into the ‘sacred land’.
“The problem was not caused by anybody. When their leaders (Miyatti Allah) came here they too admitted that it was an act of God, so nobody should be blamed for it,” Olaniran posited.
But the spokesperson of the State Police Command, SP Femi Joseph, in a short text message, described the incident as a natural disaster.