I love God. I am proud to shout it on top of my lungs, without shame. I have also served at the highest level of the church, creditably by others’ accounts. I am also conversant with the 3 Abrahamic religious faiths – Christianity, Islam and Judaism, having been a continuous student of their texts for a very long time. End of Disclaimer.}
I needed to take that out of the way because this write up is definitely going to be controversial, as I mean it to be. Not in a bad way, but to provoke serious thought and engender mature discuss. So, if while reading this, you feel offended, please understand that I have no time to devote to explaining my views; which the last time I checked, all the three major religions I mentioned above encourage!
First, let me define the word ‘mumu’. It is Nigeria speak. As a noun, it means a foolish person. As a verb, it means acting foolishly. Chickena. My definition.
Nigerians, all of us, irrespective of the faith we profess (or lack of it), including me, are all MUMUS! Now, this is where you stop, shake your head for me, and move on to another story ……
If you’re still reading this, then maybe you want to hear how we have been foolish, when it comes to things of our faith? Okay.
First, we have allowed our foolish adherence to religion deny us focus on the true object of our faith – God. Christians, Moslems and Jews all believe in this Omnipotent being, whether you call Him Almighty God, Allah or Yahweh. Not only that, if you profess any of the three faiths, all springing from Abraham (Ibrahim), then you have subscribed to a monotheistic faith, meaning you believe in just one God! You have also subscribed to the belief that people should pray to and worship this God, often.
Despite this that we have all subscribed to (Christians, Moslems and Jews), we have given our love to something else – RELIGION. In case you do not know, God has not prescribed any religion, regardless of what any pastor, imam or rabbi may have told you! No where in the Bible, Quran or Tanakh says you must be a Catholic, or Baptist or Pentecostal and their various sub-divisions; or Sunni, or Shia, or Kharijites, and their various sub-divisions; or Reform, Orthodox, and Conservative and their various sub-divisions.
All these holy books say, without exception, is that THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD, WHOM ALL BELIEVERS MUST WORSHIP TO THE EXCLUSION OF OTHERS. Yet many faithful have elevated custodians of the platforms of worship- pastors, reverends, imams, rabbis to a god-like status, have we not? Lives have now been placed in the hands of these mere ‘rides’ than in the Rider Himself, the Lord God Almighty; so much so, that many have allowed these religious leaders interpret the Bible, Quran and Tanakh as they see fit, not as God meant.
Many have been led astray, because we are MUMU enough to trust in the man of God, than in the God of man! If you are in this category, sorry you are a Mumu (noun).
Second, in a country where we have more churches, mosques and synagogues than places of work and enterprise, and nothing is being done to reverse this trend; and that makes us all (including me), MUMUS.
It is even more disappointing when you realize that some of these places of worship were once factories, offices and places where income was generated or distributed! Yet, we want our Sovereign God to miraculously turn the economy of Nigerian around without reversing this! Who were those who granted permits to convert these places of mass production that fed many to those of personal production for a few?
What are they? You got it right … MUMUS.
As if that is not bad enough, every time there is an economic downturn (read RECESSION), people who can barely make ends meet are encouraged (in some instances harassed) into filling the coffers of these religious organisations with that which they should rather use to keep body and soul together! And they sheepishly do so, despite the fact that what the major faith texts teach is for the poor to be cared for instead!
Help me here, what should we call such people? Thank you! MUMUS?
Am I railing against God here? NO WAY! I love God! My angst is against modern day Pharisees and Sadducees who we have allowed to appropriate God for themselves, and hose of us who have allowed them to do this to us! I am against many who profit on people’s ignorance of the WORD, and against those lazy enough not to know how to access God’s presence and faithfulness for themselves without these fleecing intermediaries!
Something must be wrong with us as a people, when everybody now suddenly have the call to be a reverend, pastor, imam or rabbi! Look around you, every other person unable to secure gainful employment now has a ‘shop’ opened, the ultimate object of which is to ‘grow big’. And on whose back do you reckon that ‘shop’ operating under a canopy in the hot sun will convert another factory or warehouse to a mega mosque or church or synagogue? You got it right – on the back of MUMUS!
Let me finish this 1st part of my MUMU series on this point. Our ineffective leaders have suddenly discovered a tool of perpetual oppression of the poor. What do you think it is? Organised religion of course! How? Go to any place, and grouping of people. When issues of good governance or lack of it arise, within a few exchanges, someone MUST introduce religion, either to justify his/her position, or where (s)he has a weak hand, to condemn others with superior arguments!
How do our leaders use this as a tool? If the leader is of one faith, nobody of the other dare criticise him (her), without the sceptre of religion being raised. And adherents of the same religion will like Zombies jump to his/her defense; even when the leader’s action or omission is killing them slowly!
What should we all call ourselves? Yep. Baba nla MUMU!
AS A MATTER OF URGENCY, WE NEED TO BEGIN TO TAX ALL RELIGIOUS ORGANISATIONS. TO HAVE RESOURCES TO BUILD OUR ECONOMY.
YOU NEED TO GROW UP TO HAVE A DIRECT, ONE ON ONE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?
There are many solutions to this malaise. Please share your solution(s) with me. Let us engender a public discuss. You do not have to agree with me, please; but let us be civil about it. We can at least disagree without being disagreeable.
Next: Our Nation_THE ‘MUMU’ IN US – ECONOMY.
© Adewale Adeniji.
Murder so brutal on open street
Dawn of work, workers afoot
Bukar Suka unleashed
mayhem so vile,
Ramat’s life and many more be lost.
Drunken sucker then declared,
Dawn to dusk curfew for vile act of dawn!
Suka Dimka unleashed,
a can of worms that the top reached.
Bequeathed us he did, angst across the land;
that not even his neck could assuage!
Rest on, Ramat.
Our best revenge – them Hassasins
have long been forgotten!
But you we see everyday, in many ways
in all homes, markets and piggy holes!
Even aluminium tubes fly outta you!
Rest on Ramat!
© 13th February 2017. Adewale Adeniji
This man must be deaf o.
Alagbafo! Must I shout for you?
All these dirty clothes,
many Agbadas, Danshikis, Boubous, Abadas,
hooded tops from the main room;
crying for very clean wash. All you seem
to care about are bedsheets
and pillow cases from dark crevices
ladden with filth and gross like larceny!
Even for those you prefer to wash, there
you are with a sprained hand today,
painful knees tomorrow; and who knows?
Soft heart the next day? Mscheew! Was that
why you came to me for employment?
To waste my time? Remember I sacked that
bumbling hat-clad middle-aged guy
to take you on. Alagbafo, can you not speak?
Holding your tongue will not cut it, man!
You call me Alagbapo? Washer man kwo? Yo wa*.
And I heard your calls, loud and clear.
But I need a clear head to wash.
This no be ordinary wash fa.
If I wan wash am for sokoto*,
I have to wash am for Buba too!
Na to wash every thing, spotless, clean
To miss this opportunity na to die o.
To wash, you have to be carepul!
Bright, gross colors, not mixed with whites.
It takes time to do it. Na Ka ‘dan ka ‘dan* stylee I go use.
Otherwise… whites too will be quickly soiled.
Kana jin harshen*? Na softly, softly.
I will wash, and who will let?
These colors must bright be again.
Green go show, white go shine..
So, why hurry me; you fit hurry yourself?
Lo ba tan po*!
*Alagbafo – Yoruba for ‘Washman’
*Yo wa – Hausa for ‘Okay’.
*Sokoto – Pair of trousers
*Buba – Blouse like top, worn by both sexes.
*Ka ‘dan ka ‘dan – Hausa for ‘Small, small’
*Kana jin harshen? – Hausa for ‘Can you hear me?’
*Lo ba tan – Stalemate.
© 8th February 2017. Adewale Adeniji
There should come a time when the emotion called shame should arrest a man’s attention – when the unthinkable becomes the fashionable!
I am ashamed of being within the same geographical location where impoverished people celebrate certified crooks! Are you not?!
Something must be seriously wrong with our psyche as a people, when we would assault and burn (yes, immolate!) one man for stealing N500, while we bring out the drums for someone not accused, mind, but actually JAILED for stealing millions in US dollars; the common patrimony of the same impoverished who now celebrate his deported ass!
The heavens must wonder what clay this set of humanoids were shaped from! How in Iroko’s name would you eulogize your tormentor? Have we no modicum of shame at all? What message are we sending to our children, to all who serve in little spaces, diligently?
It is bad enough that we cheat our bright children of higher institution admission on the altar of quota system, cheat competent civil servants of deserved promotion because of ‘positive discrimination’; but must we also traumatize victims of hospitals that are mere consulting rooms, able-bodied, employable youth now unemployed in their millions, by now venerating a common criminal whose action and/or inaction contributed all this morass?
I refuse to join that lot. So, I shout it from the top of my lungs, JAMES ONANEFE IBORI, you are a thief! A convicted criminal! If Nigeria were China, your head will have rotted on its stake a long time ago.
I solemnly undertake today, any politician who celebrates this condemned criminal will hear from me. What I can do? I will call them out as larcenous accomplices!
That is me. What about you? Will you celebrate this deported felon? It you do, and you are listed as my friend, I WILL NOT ONLY BLOCK YOU, I will also call you out as as accomplice? You will sue me? I will happily plead justification. A court of competent jurisdiction already judged your hero!
Shame no dey catch us? Haba!
We have been inundated with opinions and counter-opinions on the planned protest against the Nigeria’s government on the economic woes facing Nigerians. As usual, discuss on this has taken a primordial twist, by proponents of either side; pulling as usual the ethnic and religious fault lines of Nigerians.
I have ignored the back and forth till now, because frankly, I am at a loss as to why this should be an issue in the first place.
For one, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees right to gather and associate for specific purposes. There are international charters guaranteeing the same, so what is the problem? So, as long as the necessary preparations are done in line with the law, there should be absolutely why the coming protests should not hold.
For avoidance of doubt, we cannot claim to be a democracy and stymie dissents, protests or even the right to lampoon our leaders. And it is the duty of the state to guaranty the safety of lives and property during the planned protest. So, it baffles me why people are quick to condemn protests and their organizers. This government will be doing itself a disservice if it places a bar on the proposed protest march or any other one for that matter!
So what if the target of the protest is our president, Muhammadu Buhari? As American politicians are wont to say, if you cannot take the heat, stay out of the kitchen! All public office holders must be held accountable for their actions and inactions – and it is not only at election times that we should do so.
Second, I find it hypocritical for some folk to criticize president Donald Trump of the USA and egg protesters against him on, while arguing to shield another president from the protest of citizens of the nation he governs! Pure, unadulterated hypocrisy! And, with respect, such folk should be ashamed of themselves.
I even hear that supporters of the president are planning a ‘MEGA’ march in his support to counter that being planned? That is also their constitutional right, and supporters of the first protest would also be hypocritical to condemn such moves!
Nigerians should loose, once and for all, this big man syndrome that our leaders are immune from criticism. It will not happen again, not with the shenanigans of leaders past! Grin and bear it if you are the butt of jokes and derision, while in power.
I often tell my politician friends who moan about the use of social media to pummel them this: THE BEST REVENGE TO CRITICISM IS TO OUT PERFORM YOURSELF IN OFFICE!
Do that and you’d be ‘venerated’! Simple! You cannot claim the privilege of public office (lucrative one at that!) and wish your citizens to ‘leave you in peace’!
Ko le se le o!
So, for all bent on exercising their rights to freely gather and voice their opinions, which ever side of the argument you belong, WELCOME TO YOUR OPEN SEASON!
Is anyone observing the speed at which president Donald Trump appears bent on ‘reversing’ every trace of Obama’s legacy? All by executive orders?
First it was regulation on the mandatory provisions of ‘Obamacare’, the Affordable Care Act. Now the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (TPP). Others are said to be in the pipeline.
If you care to know how effective these orders are, please go to, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/01/24/executive-order-vs-presidential-memorandum-whats-difference/96979014/
Someone said to me that by the time The Donald is finished with his pen, Americans will struggle to remember what, if any thing, former president Barack Obama achieved in his 8 years as commander-in-chief!
I seriously disagree with this, even if I was not a fan of the last US president at all times. (Story for another post.)
The irony of all this ‘gra gra’* by president Trump is that no matter how he and some in his party try to erase every landmark trace of the Obama era, Barack Hussein Obama can not be easily forgotten. Why?
Because all president Trump is reversing or planning to reverse are the very things that brought America’s economy great gains in the last 5 years of the Obama era. As at the time he left office a few days ago, the US economy had good ratings. See http://www.npr.org/2017/01/07/508600239/what-kind-of-jobs-president-has-obama-been-in-8-charts
(Warning. Graphs included! Not for the Lilly livered!)
Guess what will happen with The Donald’s actions and his plan to cut taxes for the wealthy 1%? What will happen when he realizes he cannot decree American companies to shut down their factories overseas (where the have access to productive but cheap labour. He promises punitive importation tariffs against them, at the risk of increasing the cost of consumer items Americans are addicted to!)?
A struggling economy, that’s what! And then by whose work does he think he will then be measured? You guessed right! That of the immediate preceding president. Ask George W. Bush after he reversed president Bill Clinton’s taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Americans in 2003! Ask him what happened to the good economy bequeathed to him!
This new president and the Republican Congress are in for a rude shock when the first dip in people’s purchasing power arrives; as it would with the reversal of TPP for instance!
The drama has just begun. This is merely Act 1, Scene 1 of a long play!
It is rather revealing, is it not, that the last 2 Republican successions to good economies under previous Democratic presidents came via elections where the new president failed to win the popular votes cast?
Methinks the first of such succession led to serious economic recession should act as caution to the marauding gale wind called “The Donald”! Because he is bent of traveling that very same road!
*Oga. Nigerian colloquial expression for “boss”
*gra gra. Nigerian colloquial expression for ‘unreasonable haste”
© 24th January 2017. Adewale Adeniji.