CFM- An Institution Of Peace

 Wurin Alheri, Du, Jos South

Never a time in the history of the world that Nigeria needs peace than now that the nation is battling with concomitant and chorus security challenges.

And at this point, no one can argue that Nigeria and the entire world need not just tolerance or peace negotiations/conversations. For peace to become a reality we dream of, it must be institutionalized. In other words, peace must be viewed beyond verbal tolerance and should be made an institution; a workable or practical step that will become a point of reference for ages.

To achieve this, both public and private institutions should be reframed. This means that peace must be the goal of every established firm or institution that draws people from different religious or cultural backgrounds. Peace studies should be made compulsory in all levels of studies starting from primary schools to tertiary institution. With this deliberate step, the nation will experience better atmosphere for developmental goals to thrive.

Christian Faith Ministries (CFM) has taken this giant step and it is yielding results. Every institution established by CFM is geared towards peacemaking. There are deliberate efforts by Christian Faith Ministries to make sure no one in the society is excluded. There is room for both the privileged and the less privileged, Muslims and Christians are also given equal attention.

CFM Hospital

The hospital built by Christian Faith Ministries has the motto, “None shall be denied basic health care”. The hospital attends to everyone that comes. Hundreds of patients walk into the hospital every week with most of them having little or no money to pay for medical services rendered to them. Everything has been made unbelievably cheap for everyone in the society to afford. If not for limited space and medical facilities, one would be amazed by the number of people queuing every hour for medical attention. In this manner, peace has been institutionalized. Peace is not possible where there is prejudice or preferential treatments. For peace to thrive, everyone must be seen equal in the eye of the laid down standard. Even the staff of the ministry queue up for medical treatment.

                                                                        CFM HOSPITAL AT A GLANCE

The Bible College

Christian Faith Ministries runs a bible college known as Christian Faith Institute (CFI). The college’s motto is “Education for life and harvest”.  Since the inception of the college in 2007, the college has graduated not less than two thousand people across Africa. many of these graduates are leading the gospel campaign in crisis areas in the northern Nigeria.

Just like other institutions or arms established by Christian Faith Ministries, the gospel of peace and peacebuilding is mirrored across all activities and courses ran in the bible college. Every semester, the college receives good number of students from across Africa, with almost half of the students coming from insurgence or Boko Haram ravaged communities. This means they have nothing with them aside from their luggage that make them look more of a man overrun by armed robbers on the highway. Anyone who listens to their personal experiences from what they have been through after various attacks on their communities will be emotionally frozen. But the college as a peace-building institution receives them without further requests. They are given scholarships, free accommodation, feeding, free medical care, vocational skills with many other things that can rebuild these traumatized students. In the college, both educated, uneducated, privileged and less privileged live together in harmony. This further adds volume to the very reason for the Bible college establishment. We cannot dream peace if we have exclusive sight. To live in peace, every segment of the society must be involved or taken into account.  Exclusive approach will rather cause more harm than good. Both the rich and poor should be given equal attention most especially in Christ’s Kingdom. This is one of the things that make the kingdom of Christ different from the kingdom of the world.

CFI JOS                                                                                One of CFI Structures

Christian Faith Crisis Homes

Children are seeds or the future of every society. if children are protected and preserved, a nation is preserved. Christian Faith Ministries by the wisdom given to her has considered it important to rescue children rendered homeless and hopeless. Currently, Christian Faith Crisis Homes has not less than two hundred children from crisis areas across Nigeria. Most of these children, as a result of first-hand witness to their parents’ murder by armed bandit were brought into CFM Homes traumatized. Their parents were killed before their eyes. You can imagine a child watching his or her parent’s body turning or vibrating in a pool of blood. Some of the children were abandoned by their close relatives after both of their parents passed on due to illness. If these children considered as the nation’s future are left in the street destitute without care, what will become of our future as a nation? If these children grow up destitute or intellectually impoverished, it means we are going to have a destitute nation in a near future. If they are malnourished or starved, we will definitely have a malnourished or starved society in times to come.

It is an enormous task to take care of children most especially in large numbers. Educating, feeding them three times a day, clothing them properly and giving them proper or standard medical services is never a small task. This involves a great sacrifice, of course, the same way there is no genuine love without sacrifice, there is no peace without sacrifice. Apart from the huge cost of running such a home, staffs of the home sacrifice their sleep to attend to these children. If these children experience or know peace now, we can be rest assured of a peaceful society tomorrow. What we do today determines our future’s atmosphere. So Christian Faith Ministries is not just addressing or solving an issue on ground, but visionary or prophetically making peace in advance or addressing the future.

Every testimony received from these children indicates that they were hopeless but now hopeful. They are not just talking about their individual hope here, but the hope of our dear nation. As Christian Faith Ministries rebuilds hope for these children, she is not just rebuilding or rekindling these children’s hope, but also rebuilding our nation’s hope.

 CFM Farms

Christian Faith Ministries believes farming is for all of us. Farming boosts food production which is the only way to win war against food crisis. Hunger or food insecurity does not agree with peace. It breeds fear, anxiety, social disorder and other societal ills. This denotes that if all of us involve in farming, it means we are all united against our common enemy which is hunger or food insecurity. Nigeria as a nation was surviving on agriculture until oil was discovered in 1956. Nigeria was doing better with agricultural products than oil which has now become an unarguable or indisputable root of corruption and agitations in Nigeria today. The economic advantage of agricultural produce over crude oil is wide. Before the discovery of oil, there were no or less issue of corruption with a fair currency exchange of a dollar to Naira. Agriculture did not just make us responsible citizens of the most popular black nation on earth that unanimously stood against our common enemy tagged ‘food insecurity, it also encouraged environmental peace which is paramount to every societal values. oil spillage from crude oil did and is still doing harm to the soil and aquatic life which was of economic importance to us. Even though Crude oil brought money to the nation, it made living conditions difficult for common dwellers that were predominantly farmers. This also means more money and more health crisis. People began to find it difficult to get clean sources of water for cooking and drinking. The soil in the region has been raped due to drilling activities of western gold diggers who did not see what will become of an innocent community like the Ijaw people. Never in the history of Nigeria that there were agitations from different groups from the region. This was the beginning of the fall of Nigeria and her economy.

It is clear that agriculture or farming has virtually no side effects. It strengthens relationships, builds confidence, boosts economic strength of local communities, preserves nature, encourages healthy living of both man and livestock, fights food insecurity, provides natural shades which promotes health life and many more others. In African, families or people from different communities could come together to cultivate a piece of land which tells how farming or agriculture unites people. There was no much issue of herders and farmers attack, rather Fulani cows were sources of organic manure to improve yields. Their nomadic life of farming was not considered repugnant by local farmers but rather a symbiotic relationship that benefits everyone. Land cultivating farmers needed Fulani farmers to rejuvenate their land with their cows and Fulani herdsmen needed the farmers’ food for their consumption and for their cow. This was the reality on ground before corruption and injustice became the order of the day. Farming guarantees both economic and emotional peace.

This same crude oil also added weight to the Biafran or civil war fought in 1967. Few people saw that they could be enriched if they exited from Nigeria or went with eastern Nigeria which by then had liquid gold (crude oil). The war brought a major setback and division in Nigeria.

The moment oil was discovered, Nigeria strategically abandoned agriculture which has great value aside economic value or food production. Focus was shifted from agriculture to crude oil. This is the worst mistake Nigeria has ever made in her entire history. Food or agricultural products became moribund and inflation was instantly activated. Nigerians began to spend more money on less size or quantity of food than before. It is impossible to get the same quantity of food with the same amount if farming activities are on the decrease. today, many people or families are spending more on food than they earn. This gives room for money lending bodies or firms to thrive. In the history of this nation, there has never been such a time reasonable number of registered lending bodies or applications until of recent. Christian Faith Ministries believes for this to end, we must all go back to agriculture.

Oil discovery has immensely contributed to climate change, insecurity, environmental health hazard, soil depletion, corruption and poverty. Every year, huge amount of money from Nigeria’s budget goes to the oil region but due to corruption, it does not reach the poor villagers. The rich or the privileged get richer while the poor appear poorer and starved. Their land has been destroyed by oil explorations and therefore have no other option than to be attracted to either armed banditry or kidnapping of both foreign and local oil workers to earn a living. The rich from the region who receive money from the federal government on behalf of the people from the region have relocated to Abuja or safer places with their children. When these same rich people who embezzle the money shout ‘peace’ in their well-fenced apartments, a common man or the poor living in the region do not understand the language because, the reality on ground does not reconcile with the peace heard from the people in well-fenced apartments. Where is peace when funds meant for the entire Niger Deltans are been controlled by the few?

Animal rearing has remained the only hope for soil nutrients recovery. Inorganic or chemical fertilizers destroy our soil in a long run, for anything made by man has a degree of side effects. It has been proven that food crops grown on a natural soil taste better than food crops grown on soil with inorganic fertilizer. Organic which is from animals’ remains increases crop yield and give life to soil organism. In this way, nature is also preserved. This is man taking care of God’s creation as commanded. In accordance, Christian Faith Ministries rears different kinds of animals which include cattle, dogs, pigs, fishes, birds, sheep, goats etc. The remains taken from this farm is really adding a tremendous value to the soil, less is been spent on farming within CFM premises than before. This is a plus to the economy and hope for a poor farmer who has no money to buy chemical fertilizer. Spending less on farming with improved yields guarantees peace.

                                                                                 Cattle from CFM Farm

In recent times, climate change has been given attention. Ozone depletion due to increase of industrial activities and felling of trees or deforestation have caused an adverse effect on living. World bodies are now advocating for a change in attitude toward nature to preserve the earth and save humanity from the effects of ozone layer depletion. Many nations have embarked on tree planting projects and are sensitizing citizens to do so. This step guarantees environmental peace.

In Christian Faith Ministries, trees of different kinds are planted everywhere. Of recent about five hundred trees were planted in a single day. This is man going back to God’s first command which demands man tending and keeping the earth. Until we obey God or the laws of nature, environmental peace which is principal to human health or well-being is not possible. Fruit trees are pure and natural source of vitamins our bodies need, they keep or enhance our body immune systems which is a great preventive measure against sickness and diseases. Health is wealth, and there will be no peace without good health. Today, many nations have been thrown into debts as a result of pandemics.

Christian Faith Ministries does not only preach peace but live it. This makes Christian Faith Ministries an institution of peace. As a way of building relationships and making peace through farming, Christian Faith Ministries has been giving goats to widows to rear. This is to encourage economic freedom and reduce desperation among these poor widows. Desperation and peaceful living do not walk the same path. In every way, Christian Faith Ministries has preached peace and has lived it. If any society or nation is modeled after Christian Faith Ministries, a reasonable result will be achieved.  

Through farming, Christian Faith Ministries has built or restored cordial relationships between Fulani herders and Christian communities. Hausa people come to CFM without the fear of attack to cut grass for the ministry. Fulani people are willing to graze their cows within CFM premises without fear of attack. Last year, a group of Fulani leaders visited the president of Christian Faith Ministries, Professor Kent Hodge, who mobilized a vaccination team to vaccinate their cows. These Fulani herdsmen testified that this was the first time such is happening to them most especially from a Christian body like Christian Faith Ministries. This further strengthens relationships between Christians and Muslims within the region.

Christian Faith Schools 

Everyone knows what building or running a standard school with qualified teachers like Christian Faith Schools means. This requires huge expenses and therefore one should not expect anything like ‘friendly or affordable’ school fees from the school, most especially when the staff of the school are reasonably paid. Yet, it is not a thing of surprise that compared to the value offered and the school fee required from each pupil or student, it is just what an African refers to as a ‘chicken change’.

Christian Faith Schools was established to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor so that children considered less privileged will divide the spoil with the privileged. In other words, children from rich and poor homes will have equal access to quality education. Breaking the barrier between the rich and the poor is peacebuilding. Even with this effort, Christian Faith Schools has over two hundred pupils/students from displaced/poor homes that are paying nothing to access quality education for a better tomorrow. It is rightly said, if our children are not properly educated today, they will either be our tomorrow’s risk or tomorrow’s insecurity. Educating these poor children that are neglected by many today is a great investment in peacebuilding against tomorrow.

Kent Computer Centers

Kent computer centers have made a huge impact in peacebuilding in broken communities within northern Nigeria. These communities were divided along religious and tribal line leading to the crisis that set the community ablaze. After the crisis, there was virtually no common ground for people/youths from both side of the divide to interact until Kent computer centers were established. Kent computer has not just reconciled these communities in disagreement, it has further strengthened the intellectual might of youths within the community to stay away from the path of crime. Peacebuilding course was intentionally added to the students’ curriculum in each computer center to create or stamp a lasting solution to the crisis. Many of these youths have become peace ambassadors, fighting injustice without prejudice.   From time to time, seminars on peacebuilding which engage stakeholders from each of these divisions are organized. The seminar engages stakeholders in the community in an interactive manner which further strengthens relationships within the community. A lot has happened and the ministry is still receiving testimonies from these computer centers. Peace does not come cheap; it involves huge sacrifice. Huge amount of money goes into procurement and maintenance of facilities in these computer centers every month. ICT equipment are very costly but no sacrifice is too much for peace, for without peace life is not possible. Currently, the ministry has seven computer centers across northern Nigeria. More computer centers are on the way because people from some communities around are in talk with CFM concerning establishment of computer center in their communities. They have seen indisputable results from other communities with Kent Computer centers. This is a way of saying ‘we need peace in our community too and therefore a computer center should be established in our community.

Kent Hodge addressing community stakeholders at kent Computer Bisichi during a peace seminar 

Kent Hodge in a group picture shortly after a seminar on sustainable peace at Kent Computer Bisichi

Christian Faith Ministry as an institution of peace is hugely investing in peacebuilding, something many people or firms have ignored due to inevitable challenges involved. Many want to invest where they can make enormous profit and become richer and not in people or peacebuilding. They don’t want to see any deduction in their savings. Christian Faith Ministries however goes for the people and not the profit, it is not a profit-making body but a peace-making institution. The joy or testimonies that come from such sacrifice is what CFM prays for every day. To see a broken society healed, to see a hungry child fed and the naked clothed.

CFM Goats bought for poor widows awaiting distribution

Christian Faith Ministries has responded to so many communities rocked with crisis in different ways. From rebuilding of the community, provision of medical aid, foodstuffs, and water; to payment of school fees for vulnerable children across Nigeria. Of recent, in Miango, a community in Plateau State was under attack and Christian Faith Ministries bought roofing material and sowing machines to empowers vulnerable women. There are many other arms under CFM with the sole purpose of peacebuilding. Peacemaking is not cheap but is paramount. Any peacemaking firms like Christian Faith Ministries needs help or faithful partners to make a huge impact. This is why both individuals and government or cooperate organization should consider partnering with peacebuilding institutions to save the world from further decay. Violence is eating into our economy, social being, into everything that makes us human. The sooner will stand up, the better it is. Christian Faith Ministries has stood up and needs many others to stand with her. Together, injustice and violence will be forced out and peace, justice, and unity will be enthroned in our communities.


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