Dr. Chris Amuchie is a United State’s of America- based Nigerian who has shown great concern on the plight of the Igbo. The slow pace of development in Igbo land is what gave rise to the establishment of a ministry he called Igbo Intercessory Ministry, dedicated to praying for the upliftment and development of the Igbo region.
What is Igbo Intercessory Prayer and why the inauguration in Nigeria?
Igbo Intercessory Prayer Ministry is established to stand in the gap for the Igbo all over the world, by praying for them and present their cases before the living God, that’s the primary thing. We are trying to inaugurate the programme officially in Nigeria. We started in United State of America (USA) in 2012 and we brought it to Nigeria in 2015 and for the past two and half years we’ve seen it grow from chapter to chapter, covering all the five Igbo speaking states including some non speaking Igbo states like Lagos, Warri in Delta State and Port Harcourt in Rivers State.
It is expanding so we are trying to do the national inauguration officially so that people will see what it is, understand what it is, be made to participate in it so that every Igbo man and those who love the Igbo, who are interested in the Igbo’s welfare would rise up to become very active people in Nigeria.
We are praying that God will redirect and reposition the Igbo through this prayer ministry. Anything that would happen on the physical planet has to take place first in the spiritual realm. That’s why prayer is important, we want everybody to be involved in praying for the Igbo. All the great nations that have survived in this world had people who were committed to pray for them.
Up till now there are people in Israel whose job is to pray for the peace and progress of Israel, day and night. In America, there are people who are committed to praying for that country so that God will continue to grow the country higher and higher. When there was a revival in Ireland, two women were praying, even the people didn’t know. The women took it upon themselves to pray for the country of Ireland so that there would be peace and progress in that country. So that’s what we are trying to do. We are praying that the Igbo would develop the level of technology that they can afford because we know in many countries of the world; the Igbo are leaders in technology. Some people say they don’t want another Japan in Africa but we are praying that the Igbo states would become the Japan of Africa.
Why praying for the Igbo alone, and not Nigerians generally?
The English man says that charity begins at home. We see what’s going on in the whole country. Yes we love Nigerians, we are Nigerians, we pray for Nigeria but now we want to start from the family level because we see that there have been a lot of setbacks in Igbo land as a result of the war. In Igbo land, there’s a lot of joblessness and the percentage is high, compared to any part of the country. Those that have jobs have no good roads. There are a lot of infrastructure deficit, so we are praying that God will change the mindset of our leaders and the people so that everybody will work together and develop. When the Igbo land begins to develop and grow into a mighty productive giant, the whole of Africa would be involved, products would be produced in Nigeria that will get to the world; everybody is going to benefit, not just the Igbo alone. We have to start from somewhere.
Are you saying that the Igbo are marginalized?
That’s not what I’m saying, even though politicians have been saying that, but what I’m saying is that the Igbo are not developing the way they should.
Why do you think so?
There are a lot of reasons; there is the psychological aspect of it. After the war, the Igbo were demoralised. There was also a kind of seal in opportunities they had both in government and outside of government. They were also stifled financially to the extent that they didn’t have the financial power to compete with other parts of the country who did not participate in the war. So it was now real that the Igbo were actually trying to grapple with things that they missed throughout the war. So there has been a setback and for them to catch up they have to double their work to catch up with others. The roads and the bridges are terrible. There is no pipe borne water, and efficient lighting system. Even when you come to the city, it doesn’t seem like you are in the city, so that’s why we are praying that God will visit Igbo land and touch the heart of leaders to be very sensitive and committed to the development of the land.
They should also create an enabling environment for people who want to invest in Igbo land. Everyone is going to Lagos, Abuja and all the big cities simply because that’s where the jobs are. When we can create jobs that way, people would start coming back to the east and start flourishing there, living like those in other urban settings. Look at that young man in Nnewi that has employed over 50,000 people. That is the prototype of what we are trying to achieve, if we can get 10 to 20 business men like that who will go into that line of technology, we would start seeing employment opportunities and giant industries in the east, and God can give us the fertile ground for that.