Q: Has any such incident happened here before? A: Ah! It has never happened before in our village… A: Since I’ve grown old and I started rearing cattle… I’ve never heard anyone say something of this nature has ever happened. I have never witnessed it before. We’ve only been hearing about it from afar, but in this our village… …I’ve never seen it happen before. If it was the handwork of man… If it was also God’s doing… That’s how God wants it.
He was the one who gave me… … and he’s the one who took them back. On a that Friday, At about some minutes past seven… We had just returned from where we took the cattle to graze… We had just tied them when the cloud started gathering… As soon as we entered, there was a serious lightening… Then, the thunder struck heavily! Immediately afterwards, we heard our cows and sheep cry out. As we ran outside to see what was happening… We saw that our cows were all on the ground, dead! Q: How many cows? A: There were 17 cows in total. And two sheep. That was how we saw it when we came outside. Q: Did this incident actually happen in your presence? A: (I swear to God) I saw it live… And it’s actually our only means of survival here. We don’t have any other means of getting our daily living. Q: What’s the estimated cost of the cattle that died? A: If we sell all of them, we’ll get about three… Q: Three what? A: Three million naira! Q: You mean if you sell everything? A: Yes, because they’re big cows… they’re not small ones. Q: Has any such incident occurred in this town before? A: Ah! It has never happened before in our village… A: Since I’ve grown old and I started rearing cattle… Nobody has ever mentioned any such thing happening. I have never witnessed it before. We’ve only been hearing about it from afar, but in this our village… We’ve never heard of it before. Q: We also learnt that the thunder struck a tree as well… A: That’s true… That’s the tree over there… Q: You mean thunder struck this tree? A: Yeah, the thunder struck the tree… Ah! We’ve handed everything over to God. Q: Are you not scared when you sleep at night, of having a repeat of the occurrence? A: Not particularly. Q: When it starts raining, what comes to your mind? A: Before the incident, there were no ill feelings. Q: And now? A: Ah! If the weather changes a little bit, fear grips my heart. Because we’re not even sure of what might happen again. Q: You know some people might think this was man made, that someone was behind it… …do you also have such thoughts? A: (stutters…) I can’t really answer that question. If it was man… If it was also God… Q: What was the first thought you had about the incident? A: Eh A: What first came to mind was that God permitted it to happen. Q: That’s how God wanted it to happen? A: That’s how God wants it… It was he who gave me and it pleased him to them from me. As at the time we came outside, the deed had been done. And we don’t have any other means of survival. This incident hurt us deeply… It was as if we lost people we’ve been living with. It’s a sorrowful incident. Q: And you don’t think this was man made in any way? A: Let’s just hand that over to God, we really cannot tell. We really cannot tell… We can’t tell… If we start trying to unravel the mystery, we may end up offending God. But I know that we didn’t have any misunderstanding with anyone… My brother was not involved in any fight with anybody. Say when we took the cows out for grazing, and they invaded people’s farms… …such incidents did not occur this year at all. Q: Do you find it comfortable sleeping at night these days? A: We can no longer sleep… …that’s our entire company that has crumbled. We don’t have any other means of survival, that’s our own company. It has just crumbled We don’t have any other means of survival That’s our company… Q: Was it all your cows that were affected by the incident? A: There were about 19 of them. Q: And that’s all you had? A: We have a few more left, but the biggest ones were affected We had (among others) cows that cost N200,000 each… You know it’s our company… Many things were destroyed during the incident. It was a really painful incident because since the Fulanis started living here… …there’s never been any such occurrence… except this one. When we now heard that there were 17 cows and two sheep involved in the incident… The people of this community were really sad On the day of the incident, people were trooping in, in numbers… To confirm the authenticity of the report. And they met it so. They saw the (really big) cows, including the pregnant ones… as well as the sheep. And the tree that was struck by the thunderstorm. On the day this incident occurred, it didn’t even rain… Everywhere was simply cloudy, and was about drizzling And the thunder struck It was after this that we heard (in town) that 17 cows and two sheep had been struck dead! Even in neighouring towns and villages, we’ve never heard such reports. It is only in our town that we heard about it. It is also a first of its kind in this community.