info@jdpcmaiduguri.org +2348082300988 C/O St. Patricks Catholic Cathedral, Maiduguri

HISTORY OF JDPC

Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC Maiduguri diocese),   also known as Justice Development and Peace Initiative in Maiduguri Diocese, is a faith-based (Catholic) non-profit development and humanitarian organization. Being a Catholic organization it is guided by the Catholic Social Teachings. JDPC has a long history which can be trace to the biblical times.

Our Lord Jesus Christ during his life time on earth devoted his time to the service of the poor and the needy, the down-trodden and the marginalized. This concern for the poor was at his heart and center of his ministry and was passed to his disciples when he said “you have always got the poor with you, and you can do something for them” (Mk 14:7).

Down through the history the Church, the Church remained faithful to this task. It was evident in the apostolic era when seven deacons full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom (cf Acts6:1-15) were chosen to serve the marginalized particularly the Hellenists widows. In 20th century, the care of the needy and marginalized was concretized when a Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace was established in 1967 and became an arm of the Church for the promotion of justice, peace, development and human rights from the perspective of the Roman Catholic Church. It was expected that in each local Church a commission for Justice and Peace was to be established to key into the universal intent of the church.

The Diocese of Maiduguri was erected in 1966, a year before this proclamation and a year before the civil war in Nigeria. The call for the establishment of the commission for the Justice and Peace did not fine root in the young diocese, because the whole country was in turmoil. The Nigerian civil war lasted for three years and the experience of the civil war was devastating.

The aftermath of the Nigerian Civil war was characterized by a policy of national reconstruction and rehabilitation in which voluntary agencies were invited to participate. This became the background to the establishment of a specialized apostolate to key into the call for reconstruction and rehabilitation in the war torn country known as Social Welfare Programme in the diocese of Maiduguri.

In March 1971, the Diocese of Maiduguri responded to this invitation by the Federal Government to assist in the reconstruction and rehabilitation by creating a specialized apostolate known as Social Welfare Programme with Late Rev Fr Denis Coleman (OSA) as the first Coordinator.

The apostolate which is passionately attached, believing that the gospel message is really Good News- for the whole man, body as well as soul, in this world as well as in the hereafter. The specifically Christian precept to “love your neighbor just as you love yourself is thus actualized in countless projects executed by the Social Welfare Programme

The concern for the poor and marginalized once again received more emphasis from Pope John Paul II in the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Ecclesia in Africa with particular call on the Church in Africa that:

the Church must continue to play her prophetic role and be the voice of the voiceless…. But to achieve this effectively, the Church as a community of faith must be an energetic witness to Justice and Peace in her structures and in the relationship among her members…. In what concerns the promotion of justice and especially the defence of fundamental human rights, the Church Apostolate, cannot be improvised. Aware that in many African countries, gross violation of human dignity and rights is being perpetrated, I ask the Episcopal Conferences to establish where they do not yet exist, Justice and Peace Commissions at various levels. These will awaken Christian Communities to their evangelical responsibilities in the defence of human rights.

This call got the attention of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN). The national office was formed and all dioceses were called to key into this. But since in the Diocese of Maiduguri, the Social Welfare Apostolate was in existence, it was transformed into Justice and Peace Commission with the same mandate: to coordinate the social development interventions of the Catholic Church in Maiduguri Diocese.

As JDPC Maiduguri continue to work for the needy and to meet up to the challenges as well as to respond appropriately JDPC was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria in 2015 with the name: Justice Development and Peace Initiative in Maiduguri Diocese.