By David Olalekan.
The Sapetu of Ijare kingdom, Wemimo Olaniran has given more insight into the mysterious circumstances which led to the death of 36 cows on Saturday in Ijare community, Ifedore local government area in Ondo State.
According to the High Chief, some herdsmen who had been warned not to take their cows to the sacred Owa Mountain for grazing because it was forbidden for anyone to go there, defied the warnings of the community.
Olaniran noted that only the king, the Olujare of Ijare kingdom is allowed to climb the mountain once a year to perform rituals.
He added that some persons who had desecrated the land in the past also witnessed thunderbolt attack.
“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 desecrate 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 prayed 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.
“One unforgettable incident that happened there was that one Olujare (former king) 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 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. A whole Oba was buried there live and heaven did not fall talk less of ordinary cows”, Chief Olaniran said.