By Kachy Madukaego

Bishop of Rajah Ancient Fraternity Inspiration Christ Defensive Church (RAFI) Umuomumu Umueze autonomous community in Mbieri Mbaitoli Local Government Area, Transcendentalists, Dr. Vincent Ogwuruike has revealed that celebration of new yam festival in the church is not against the will of God.

He also said that Igbos were known for moral religion before the colonial masters introduced christianity, which he said prompted the neglect of Igbo customs and tradition.

Bishop Ogwuruike made this revelation during their 2023 new yam celebration held on Sunday 24th September at the church headquarters.

According to him, ” what we are doing today is a directive from God, the white men came and deceived our forefathers and took away our cultural values and abilities, we were healing with roots and herbs before the advent of Christianity,
they did not teach us healing nor who God is.

“Our forefathers heard directly from God and they were able to name every plants and animals within their environment, it was not easy for them to understand the mystery of hearing voices and not seeing anyone, they made different kinds of images to represent God, but in this generation the bible has revealed the word of God, is more clearer for us to comprehend.

“My childhood was a mystery to people, some said I was mad, some called me a native doctor, while others said I was a drug addict because i isolated myself from people and stayed in the forest called ‘isinwankwo’ where our church is presently domiciled.

“For 22 years, my hair was not shaved, whereas I was unique in every activities i participated in school as a young boy both in sports, arts and craft.
In 1947 I had an encounter while in the forest where I was picking fruits, there was a sudden darkness and I could not find my way out, afterwards I heard a voice calling me to come so they can lead me out of darkness which I obliged, they were men holding a book and a woman with flowers, they led me safely to my house, laid hands on my head, prayed for me and revealed myself to me, thereafter my life changed, I was perceived as a stubborn boy because it was not possible for soldiers to take me to fight during the war, my spirit could not allow it.

“It continued until after the war in 1973 when I began to gain my consciousness. I have written books and hymns to further explain who God is to the universe, it is the will of God that we present new yam before him every September, I started it alone but today alot of people have joined me in the celebration because they have seen the light, he said.

The bishop further explained that celebration of new yam festival according to the bible prevent sickness, untimely death, barrenness and growth in wisdom of the almighty God.

“We have been doing this to let the church know that religion started in Igbo land which is “moral religion” Christianity is not part of Igbo culture, in those days our forefathers lived longer above 100 years of age, if anyone dies below 100 years the elder must find out the cause of the death because God did not create death, it came through sin, I want to implore Igbo people to return to God in obedient to our customs and belief, we will prosper and do exploits according to the bible, he stated.

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