Nigerian News: COZA GATE:- When The Voice Of The People Becomes The Voice Of God
Written by:- Chekwube Adaba Kwentua
Nigeria is a very peculiar country, whereby the citizens are a wonderful set of people. Nigerians are so passionate about a whole lot of things, which includes Sports, Entertainment and Religion!
Yes, Nigerians are very religious to a fault that one would be forgiven, if one thinks Christianity and Islam originated from Nigeria.
In Nigeria, religious leaders wield enormous amount of power, much more to the envy of political leaders. If you want an average Nigerian to do a thing for you, just go through his religious priest and be rest assured it will get done.
These pastors and Imams, enjoy so much favour with Nigerians that it will be difficult for one to assume that Nigerians can ever find a fault with their religious leaders.
However, recent happenings in the society, are pointing to one fact, and that is; Nigerians are beginning to stand up and challenge their religious leaders.
Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, seems to be one of those leaders, who is feeling the effects of Nigerians standing up to challenge their religious leaders.
Last week, the internet was agog with claims and counter-claims between Busola Dakolo, wife to Timi Dakolo, a musician and pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, general-overseer of the Commonwealth Of Zion Assembly (coza).
The Dakolos had accused the pastor of raping Busola, while she was a teenager. The man of God, had come come out to deny such claim, even claiming never to have raped anybody, even as an unbeliever. Fatoyinbo even threatened to sue Busola Dakolo to court; a challenge which the Dakolos were so happy to accept.
People got glued to the Internet to observe how things would pan out. There were protests both on social media and at the various centers of worship of the COZA, by people who sympathetic to Busola. These protesters demanded that the pastor resigned as the pastor in charge of COZA
Initially, Fatoyinbo stood his ground, claiming he was innocent and believing all these were just an attack targeted towards the church.
He was so sure that God would vindicate him at the end.
FATOYINBO EVENTUALLY STEPPED DOWN
It was however a shock to many, when the general overseer threw in the towel on Monday the 6th of June, claiming he had to step down from his pastoral duties, to save the church from further controversy and also to submit himself for questioning, in regards to the rape accusation.
This was clearly a case of the heat being too much to bear from the people. The voice of the people finally became the voice of God.
HOW COME THIS SCANDAL HIT THE MAN OF GOD SO HARD?
Allow me refresh your memory on what was said and who said who; maybe this will give us an insight to why the pastor had to surrender.
When clips of the Busola interview hit the internet towards the end of last week, several people reacted. Some felt this was a case of a respected man of God abusing his God given authority to molest and sexually harass his female members; especially as this had become an accusation too many.
A particular lady, Ese Walters, had come out sometime this year, to accuse the man of God of taking sexual advantage of her. Timi Dakolo, the husband to Busola had also come out some weeks ago, to accuse the same man of God, of sexually abusing his female members! To many, this latest accusation must not be swept under the carpet.
Celebrities, the wive of another celebrity pastor, former church members, ex class mates and even an aide to the president of Nigeria, had come out to voice their opinions,which in most cases where not in support of Fatoyinbo.
A FORMER PASTOR SAID COZA IS A BUSINESS CENTER
A self acclaimed former pastor, had come out on the internet to indict the church and accused the church of being a business center.
The man who goes by the name, Al Akhigbe, claimed he was a pastor for 15 years, before deciding to retire as a pastor, because he could not withstand the hypocrisy and lies, he witnessed in the church.
He claimed that many churches were out to impoverish members and carry out the very thing they preached against and yet are quick to defend their actions with the same word of God that they were going against. The man, who updated this on twitter, wants pastor Fatoyinbo to be investigated and not be treated like he is above God.
PASTOR ADEYEMI’s WIFE WANTS OTHERS TO SPEAK UP AGAINST ANY PASTOR
Pastor Nike Adeyemi, the wife of the founder of Daystar Christian center, Pastor Sam Adeyemi, in a lengthy Instagram post, shared her thoughts on the matter at hand. She urged victims of sexual abuse to come out and speak up, whether they are believed or not.
She also advised victims to get professional help and counselling from trained experts. Pastor Nike, who claimed she had really been troubled in her heart by all the controversies facing a respected man of God, warned those covering up abuses in homes, places of worship, offices and communities, to stop and repent now, because God is watching them.
PRESIDENT BUHARI’s AIDE ALSO SPEAK UP
Lauretta Onochie, the aide on social media matters to president Buhari, on her part on her Twitter page, urged the men of the Nigeria police, to carry out an investigation into the accusation and arrest Fatoyinbo, if he was found guilty.
She does not want the accusation to be treated with kids’ gloves, simply because a great man of God was at the center of the controversy. Surely, going by her statement, one will be partially right to assume that the Federal Government had taken an interestin this case.
SOME LAWYERS TEAMED UP TO FIGHT FOR BUSOLA DAKOLO FOR FREE
The coalition of public interest lawyers and advocates, in a brief press statement, volunteered to represent Busola Dakolo for free, in case the accusation leads to a court summon.
They also urged the police to immediately commence investigations on the rape allegation levelled against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.
PASTOR FATOYINBO WAS A CULTIST WHILE IN UNILORIN
However, the reaction that got people’s interest so much was the one from one Aliu Bolakale Jabata, who claimed he was not surprised that Fatoyinbo was facing rape accusation, because he knew Pastor Fatoyinbo while he was a student, at the University of Ilorin.
Jabata who claimed to be an ex class-mate of the pastor in the university days, claimed the pastor was a member of a dreaded cult group and that he was rusticated in his third year as a student of Economics, for cult related offences.
Jabata was however surprised that people who don’t know about Fatoyinbo’s background, are those supporting him and claiming he was innocent of the rape accusations.
CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (CAN) FINALLY AGREE TO TAKE UP THE ISSUE
The Christian Association of Nigeria, who initially didn’t want to be involved in the rape scandal, had a change of mind and decided to step into the matter.
In a reaction dated Saturday, June 29, the president of CAN, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, condemned the development. He said:-
“We have no details about the matter other than what we are reading and hearing from the social media, and this is not reliable and credible evidence.
The CAN leadership has reached out to the leadership of the block which the Pastori n question belongs, with a view to getting to the root of the matter. This will help us to make the right decision on the issue”.
Ayokunle vowed to make sure that justice must prevail in cases of rape, irrespective of who is involved.
THOSE SUPPORTING THE PASTOR ARE NOW BACKING OUT
So many other people spoke out their minds concerning the rape accusation but in order not to bore you, the opinions will be left out.
However, one thing is sure, and that is virtually everybody is united in getting to the root of the matter. Even some people who earlier defended Pastor Fatoyinbo, have had a change of mind and are now rooting for the accusation to be investigated.
Almost everybody in Nigeria wants to know the truth and everybody seems to be waiting for, is for the court case to begin and for the truth to be revealed.
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