As the effect of climate change is heavily affecting Nigerians and people of the world, a Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr Augustine Obiagbaosogu, attributed climate change to deforestation and killing of animals we are supposed to befriend and accommodate.
The Catholic cleric who is the Diocesan Health Coordinator and Entrepreneur, Catholic Diocesan Secretariat, Okwuani, Nnewi, Anambra State, reiterated that people abandoned agriculture for white collar jobs, forgetting that God blessed his people through agriculture, which has to do with land.
Speaking during his new yam festival, held in the Diocesan Secretariat hall, Obiagbaosogu said, “In the traditional setting new yam festival is not fetiish but our Christmas, to thank God for the plenty farm produce harvested.
“It is unfortunate that what assist agriculture like trees and animals have been cut and killed by us. His Holiness, Pope Francis, in his book, condemned the cutting of trees without subsequent replacement and killing of animals that we are supposed to protect.
“Pope regretted in his book that we have spoilt the world by killing animals that are our brothers and sisters .We are suppose to protect trees and replace them when we cut them. That is why we are suffering from climate change”.
The cleric, who said he grew in the village as a farmer, became more interested in farming when he returned from Ghana, hinting that, it was then that he started enjoying Igbo, (African ), culture and tradition.
“It is in agriculture that I found my destiny. I cultivate cassava, coco yam, among others, and as a famer, I use new yam festival to thank God for His mercy by in providing the plenty farm produce that we harvest yearly. My birthday day party is August 3rd but I celebrate it with the new yam festival yearly, it is four years that I started it. It is because of the love that I have in Igbo tradition.
The cleric, who also lectures on Igbo tradition and culture at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, also disagreed with the speculation in some quarters that Igbo culture and tradition are going into extinction, adding that rather it is in high breed, as it is being generally performed via unification, saying that Igbo do their tradition together, Yoruba does hers and Hausa also do theirs.
He revealed that land is a deity that gives birth, protects and nurishes its products, adding that it is an abomination to steal yam in Igbo land.