“Do you believe in the same God I believe in?”

[Dawn Dannenbring, JPMorgan Chase Shareholder]

by Tola Adenle

It seems I’m forever getting into religious essays not because – if “born-again Christians’ opinions count for something – I am a Christian; a “born-again” once wrote if I really believe I’m a Christian judging from my newspaper essays.  This blog is around fifty days old but the essay posted early this morning is the second on the topic of pretenders to witnesses of the word, a.k.a “men of God” in Nigerian lingo.  On April 7, I recalled a “prayer” from a church I had attended even before the first election had been cancelled and a re-vote day fixed: “Let us pray that Nigerians will accept whatever the outcome of the elections” in an essay titled Nigerian clerics are already at it again: want citizens to prepare for rigged elections!

Now, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase Bank is no American “pastor” or “Man of God” in the mold of Jimmy Swaggart but this title is from a question put to CEO Jamie Dimon by an apparently very pained and frustrated shareholder at a shareholders’ meeting as reported by Mike Lux, author of the “Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America came to be”.  You can read his report at www.huffingtonpost.com titled WHAT KIND OF GOD DO WALL STREET BANKERS BELIEVE IN?

Here are Dannenbring’s very memorable words:   ”As a person of faith, my God believes you shouldn’t take advantage of people when they are down. Do you believe in the same God I believe in?” CEO Dimon may or may not be a Christian but the guy must believe in a power greater than himself just as the Nigerian ruling elites who have stolen the country dry are Christians and Muslims who are always described as “he fears God”; “he’s pious”, etcetera.

The words in Ms. Dannenbring’s statement as question are so apt when you consider the bankers who brought tears and even suicide to Nigerians when their banks more than faltered: the Erastus Akingbolas, the Cecilia Ibrus, etcetera who took poor people’s money to buy palatial homes from Lagos to Dubai to Maryland, USA, London, and jets not only for themselves but also for their high-flying “pastors” who did not wonder how such wealth was possible.  ”Men of Nigeria’s god” as I always describe them – milked and are still milking – poor work-a-day types, and OWN reserved seats at the type of churches in the earlier essay this morning.  At one of such prominent churches, THE “man of God” instituted a sort of club – for a fat fee in the millions, of course – for men and women who would want live to 70! I understand many hands shot up the day it was instituted.  Many bank executives are “pastors” (I understand Erastus Akingbola is one) while many top politicians are either “pastors” or bearers of those new grandiose church titles leaving the masses no room to maneuver!

I’ve written over the years, especially since the ugliness of retired General Obasanjo’s massively-rigged 2007 election the duplicitous roles that Nigerian churches play with the ruling class to work against the masses’ interesst.

American big bankers may not be cut from the same cloth with their Nigerian counterparts who loot so much that they gift jets and MINOR gifts like humongous power generating sets to churches as the Americans are MERE thieves.

In the years ahead, Ms. Dannenbring’s presence and words at that shareholders’ meeting may go down as Financial America’s Rosa Parks Moment.  Poor people and marginalized middle class all over the world are starting to say as in that  old movie Network, “we are sick and tired and cannot take it anymore.”  That is what has led to the Arab Spring and many more such “progressive revolution” that will happen in many countries which Lux has in his book’s title.



Nigerian newspapers and online news sources
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  • Bella Naija Magazine
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  • Emotan Blog
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  • Leadership News site
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  • National Daily Newspaper
  • Nigeria Plus News site
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  • Nigerian Observer News site
  • Osun Defender News site
  • PM News Newspaper
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  • Sahara Reporters News site
  • Sun Newspaper
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