At least 36 cows were reportedly struck dead at Oke Owa in Ijare community, Ifedore local government area of Ondo State during the weekend.
A community source said the cows were killed by lightning shortly after they strayed to a mountain where the monarch of the town makes sacrifices on an annual basis.
A resident said Adebamigbe Kokotiri, the monarch, accompanied by his chiefs, carry out yearly sacrifice on the secluded mountain.
Speaking with reporters through Wemimo Olaniran, one of his chiefs, Kokotiri described the incident as 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.
“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 query,” he said.
“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 forever; it is part of the history in our land for people to see as testimony in future that such a thing 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 lightning 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.”