COMMUNITY leaders in Ijare community of Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State have revealed that the recent death of 36 cows by lightening came about because the Fulani herdsmen involved ignored advice not to graze their cattle in a forbidden area.
Last week, 36 cattle were struck by lightening in Ijare and according to the community’s elders, it happened because the herdsmen ignored their warnings against taking their cows to the sacred mountain of the town for grazing. According to High Chief Wemimo Olaniran, the Sapetu of Ijare kingdom, who Oke-Owa or Owa Mountain where the incident occurred is forbidden for anyone to climb, particularly its peak except the community’s monarch, the Olujare of Ijare.
Chief Olaniran, the community’s second in command who recounted how the incident happened disclosed that it was not the first time such is happening in the community to those who desecrate the sacred mountain. While adding that it is only the king who is allowed to go to perform annual rituals at the mountain top, which he said is done once a year, Chief Olaniran stated the incident will serve as a deterrent to those desecrating sacred places in the community.
He added: “There have been occasions like that but not as massive as we are having it now. Some individuals who desecrated the land in the past did witness thunderbolt attack. When you desecrated any part of Ijare particularly the sacrifice places, the grove the person will see the repercussion.
“The place where the cows died is being called Owa and it is 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 individuals are allowed to go to that place.
“Five days before this time, we learnt that Fulani men were there and they were carrying wood to build their tent and we said that are they taking over the land from us and we pray to God to save us, to intervene because we don’t want anything to desecrate the place it is a very special place as far as Ijare community is concerned. No implication, it is a sign that the gods that are there don’t want whosoever to move to that place and settled down there.
“It is not meant for any ordinary person even Kabiyesi himself goes there once in a year and there is a way he will compose himself when he is there. One unforgettable incident that happened there was that one Olujare went there and he couldn’t return, so we don’t encourage people to mount that hill and nobody can touch the dead cows, even Fulani people that we met there said it was thunderbolt attack they even told us that if we see anybody that has interest should go there and take away the cows and we said no that it is a taboo for anybody to touch anything there.
“The dead cows will be there forever. It is part of the history in our land for people to see as testimony in the future that such things happened.”