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The Catholic Institute for Development, Justice and Peace (CIDJAP)

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The Catholic Institute for Development, Justice and Peace (CIDJAP) is a social organ of the Catholic Church, committed to the implementation of the Catholic social teaching. 

It was registered in Abuja as number 7461 by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a non-governmental, non-profit, research and development organization. 

This organization which started in 1986, from a lowly background has grown to be top of the list as an example of a success story in the arena of integral human development. It has evolved rapidly from modest beginnings to become one of Nigeria’s foremost and easily one of the most versatile, dynamic, effective and patently credible NGOs in Nigeria. 

It is classified as the best example of providers of grassroots emancipation and holistic human development. 

 How It All Started

Before now, it seemed that the entire vocation to the Christian consisted in working for the reward of heaven alone. It spelt no serious responsibility on his/her part towards the betterment of the world order. The world was seen and interpreted as a vale of tears from which the children of God must gladly and quickly escape. 

Gradually and fortunately however, new biblical hermeneutics, rediscovered the “two wing” theory of St. James: faith and good work, which added weight to the perennial exhortation of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 5:14 “You are the salt of the earth; you are the light of the world.” Without the Christians therefore the world would be in darkness. 

This darkness was looming in 1891. the world was at the brink of being consumed by poverty and many millions died of hunger and poverty, deprivation and disease. It was not that the world was suffering real famine. It was not that the world had lost all its wealth. It was suffering real famine. 

It was not that the world had lost all its wealth. It was not that the land stopped producing, nor was man suffering a dearth of inventive capacity. No! The case was that the wickedness of man had reached its peak. Food was scarce but it was an artificial scarcity. The goods of the earth therefore were appropriated by a few men for their private use to the exclusion of the rest. 

This was the source of so much hunger and men achieved this by a lot of means including manipulation of economics and means of production and consumption. The church could not look the other way anymore. It took the bravery of Pope Leo XIII to shake off the monastic spirituality of “fuga mundi” of the church and to challenge the temporary errors of the past which held man in bondage. 

It was the birth of Rerum Novarum, the ground breaking encyclical letter of the Pope which launched the church into the cause of social reform. It was a rediscovery of the social vocation of the Christian, and a radical response of the church to the socio-political situation of the time. The world just had to become better! 

The passion for the betterment of the world turned into a refrain in the Church and the Popes supported this development. In 1931, Pope Pius XI released the Quadragessimo Anno, in commemoration of the forty year of Rerum Novaram. In 1961, Pope John XXIII published Mater et Magistra. 

In it he wrote "though the Church‘s first care must be for souls, how she can sanctify them and make them share the gifts of heaven, she concerns herself too with the exigencies of people’s daily life, with their livelihood and education, and their general welfare and prosperity" (no 3) With this therefore a caveat has been created for social work as a legitimate concern of Christians to make the world a better place. 

It was in 1965 that the Fathers of the Vatican Council II released the document: Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World) in which the church agreed unequivocally that temporal issue besieging mankind like poverty is really of special interest for the Church. 

"Nothing that is genuinely human fails to find an echo in the heart of Christians. For theirs is community composed of men, of men who, united in Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit, press onwards towards the kingdom of the Father and are bearers of the message of salvation intended for all men. That is why Christians cherish a feeling of solidarity with the human race and its history". 

On January 6" 1967, Pope Paul VI inaugurated the Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace “lustitia et Pax” with a clear mandate to set the pace of witness to Gospel Values in the modern world of today. 

On December 10, 1979, Pope John Paul II issued a Motu Proprio “lustitiam et Pacem” (Peace in the World) which maintained that "promotion of justice and peace and the penetration of all spheres of human society with the light and leaven of the gospel have never ceased to be the true object of the Church‘s efforts in fulfillment of our Lord's command”. 

With this theoretical framework on ground, all Episcopal Conferences and Dioceses were therefore encouraged to form or set up such commissions that will be saddled with the responsibility of discharging the social concerns of the church in their immediate environment. 

In 1986, under the inspirational leadership of Most Rev. Michael Ugwu Eneja, a diocesan commission for Justice and Peace was formed, with Rev. Fr. Obiora lke as chairman. 

Months later precisely on October 4 1986, on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Fr. Obiora lke founded the Catholic Institute for Development, Justice and Peace, the active organ for promoting and executing the mandate of the Justice and Peace Commission and other social concerns of the church. 

Anything that is worth doing, it is said, is worth doing well. Pope John XXIII also said very emphatically that “it is not merely enough to formulate a social doctrine. It must be translated into reality. 

And this is particularly true of the Church's social doctrine, the light of which is truth; justice its objective and love its driving force”. To translate this into reality means to be active and result oriented. 

This penchant for action translates into the personal dictum of the director: I want results, no ifs, no but. Just get your job done. Perform. Under this spirit of action therefore we have lived out our mandate in executing our numerous projects.

 Mission & Vision

CIDJAP is a Christian organization inspired by the call and mission of our Lord Jesus Christ to go forth and "bring the good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives, restore sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free and proclaim a year of the Lords favour" (Luke 4:18-19). 

lt is by doing good work as Jesus did, that we hope to bring the presence of the Kingdom of God on earth as we say in our prayer: thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:6).

In Matthew 25:35-50, Jesus himself declares eternal life to those who act within this framework of brother's love: "l was hungry and you gave food, sick and you visited me, in prison and you cared for me, dejected and you accepted me, come therefore and inherit the happiness of my father's house!

The welfare of the entire human family is therefore the driving force of our apostolate and this involves challenging structures that militate against the full realization of the dignity of the human person. 

In our society, many people live in poverty, sickness, ignorance, oppression and other social vices. Compassion for those in need and the longing to set people free move CIDJAP on and in solidarity with others, work for justice in the society, specifically in the following areas:

  • Empowerment of people
  • Promotion of integral development
  • Challenging structures of injustice
  • Creating hope
  • Working for peace.


Drawing its inspiration from scriptures, the social teaching of the Church and the experiences and hopes of the poor, the deprived, the marginalized and the oppressed, CIDJAP looks forward to a world in which:


  • The good things of creation are cherished, developed and shared by all.
  • The right and dignity of persons are respected, discrimination ended and all people are gathered into a single human family from which no one is excluded.
  • The voice ofthe poor is heard and lives no longer dominated by greed.

Our Values


According to Aristotle, nothing is as practical as a good theory. The work of the Catholic Institute for Development Justice and Peace (CIDJAP) revolves on a number of principles and values which keep it going and these include:

    • Compassion for people confronted by poverty and hardship regardless of whether or not the suffering is in the public eye.
    • Solidarity with the people ravaged by the reality of poverty and exclusion, and also discerning its underlying causes.
    • Partnerships are fostered between poor communities and donor agencies which recognize the importance of each other.
    • The Integrity of creation is recognized in the intimate relationship between protecting and sustaining the environment and promoting human development.
    • Stewardship is sustained as the Institute strives to manage all the resources entrusted to it and are openly accountable for our work.Love, faith and hope propel CIDJAP on.

Cidjap Event Picturec






Date Founded

4th October, 1986



Non Government Organisation



If you want Peace work for Justice


Corporate Parent

Catholic Diocese of Enugu



Professor Dr. Monsignor Obiora lke



To empower people, promote integral development, challenge structures of injustice, create hope and work for peace



Human Development, Human Rights, Evangelisation, Ecumenism, Hospitality


Project Accomplished




Promotion of pastoral and social teachings of the Church, giving succour to the downtrodden, encouraging African self determination, African self reliance, and inculcating in the people the spirit of hard work and dignity of labour


Project Steered

Health, Education, Library, Poverty Alleviation, Bookshop, Computer Technology, Agriculture, Hospitality, Printing, Publishing, Human Rights Training Programme, Micro Credit, Conflict Management, Religious Dialogue, Prisoners Welfare


Corporate Office

Plot 1-3, Ikwuato Street, Uwani, Enugu, Nigeria


Postal Address

P.O Box 302, Enugu, Nigeria







Phone Tel: +234-42-252727
Address No. 1-3 Ikwuato Street, Uwani, Enugu, Enugu State.


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