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.