A coalition of human rights groups will on Sunday (today) stage a protest to the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly to demand the stepping down of the church’s senior pastor, Biodun Fatoyinbo, to allow a probe following a rape allegation against him by Busola, photographer and wife of musician, Timi Dakolo.
This is coming as the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria is set to meet that of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria over the matter.
A statement by the Special Assistant, Media and Communications, to the CAN President, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, said the association would get to the root of the matter.
The statement read in part, “The Christian Association of Nigeria, as a body, condemns any case of rape in strong terms. It doesn’t matter who is involved. It is ungodly, wicked, and reprehensible. However, on the allegations against Pastor Abiodun Fatoyinbo, we have no details about the matter other than what we are reading on the social media. This is not reliable and credible evidence enough to jump into a conclusion.”
Convener of the planned protest, Dr Princess Olufemi-Kayode, said the pastor must step down to allow the allegations to be investigated.
The sexuality minister/sex and intimacy coach said the coalition would stage a protest at the Lagos and Abuja branches of the church.
She said, “We are planning a peaceful protest to the church as women advocates and citizens of Nigeria. It is necessary for the leadership of the church to take action. This is not the first person making such accusation against the man. It is only proper for him (Fatoyinbo) to step aside while the allegations are investigated. He was not the one that was supposed to sign the statement released by the church yesterday (Friday). That letter should have been signed by the chairperson of the governing board of the church, or the person next to him in hierarchy. We cannot just write this off as propaganda against the body of Christ. This is actually about a particular individual. We are not saying we are the judge and jury, but we want these allegations to be properly looked into.”
Also reacting to the issue, the president, Women Arise and rights activist, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, said it took courage to go public about such issues.
She stated, “Everyone who speaks up is a woman/man of courage no matter how long they have carried the heartache. We support all victims of domestic violence and rape is top on the list. We will do our best in this case alongside other well meaning professionals already doing a great job supporting the family. However, every case has three sides; my side, your side and the right side. Every accused deserves his right to be heard.”
Odumakin also said beyond the sensation of the current situation, all stakeholders must join hands to find a solution to the rape scourge, maintaining that her organisation and its allies would lead the conversations in the coming days and months.
However, a member of COZA and supporter of the embattled pastor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the case would be resolved in court.
He said, “I have made my position on social media and I don’t want to say anything at this point. It is a legal matter which is already in court. Let’s see how it goes.”