It is no longer news that the founder of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Abiodun Fatoyinbo, is currently under huge pressure following allegations of rape leveled against him by Busola Dakolo, the wife of popular musician, Timi Dakolo.
She has given a detailed account of how the pastor though married then had taken advantage of her. How he forced himself on her, threatening her and doing the same thing to her all over again while manipulating her to keep her silence.
This would not be the first time that Fatoyinbo would be embroiled in a sex scandal as in 2013, Ese Walters had said that the pastor had manipulated her into having illicit relations with him for one week in London.
Unfolding Events From The Revealing Interview
An intriguing chain of events have followed the explosive interview made by Mrs Dakolo whom it had taken 20 years to make the revelation.
First, the COZA Pastor was attacked by a wide section of Nigerians for the act, with celebrities such as Banky W, Toke Makinwa, Patience Ozokwor and a host of others reacted to the development. Wale Jana who is the CEO of the popular luxury perfume company, Sapphire Scents, had however gone on a different path as he had blasted Busola and her husband Timi Dakolo, accusing them of having skeletons in their cupboard.
Jana received backlash from many including popular singer Davido. A lady even went as far as destroying his products which she had bought, irrespective of the high cost. The celebrity perfume dealer was thus forced to render an apology for his earlier statements.
After that incident, reports broke out in the media that a group known as the #ChurchToo Movement were planning to stage a protest at the headquarters of the church in the FCT. At about the same time, another report broke out on THE CABLE that some persons claiming to be members of the church were offering up to N2 million to social media influencers in the country for them to launder the image of the COZA Senior Pastor.
The protest did eventually hold on the 30th of June 2019, but the protesters were in for a surprise as they were faced by counter protesters who were in support of the Pastor. The action by the counter protesters was later said to have been staged according to eyewitness at the vicinity who had as well claimed that the protesters many of whom were young northern boys were paid a sum of N10,000 to participate in the charade of a protest.
#stepdownpastor coza pastor paying 10k each to counter protest #cozaprotest pic.twitter.com/ddogOEo8Va
— k'lerry⚓OIO (@klerry010) June 30, 2019
This information of course flew all over social media with many condemning Pastor Fatoyinbo for these unfolding actions.
It will be interesting to note that while this commotion was going on outside the church premises, the church service which was being held inside had “loyal church members” hailing the pastor even in the midst of the scandal. Eye witnesses present during the church service had reported that up to ten female members of the church had come out to give their testimonies all giving a favourable report of the pastor and how he had been good to them.
Apparently the same is happening at the church in #COZA, Abuja. Testimonies all women. All about how @BiodunFatoyinbo has helped them. #ChurchToo https://t.co/XN8FRx4ZMh
— Ayodeji Rotinwa (@ayodejirotinwa) June 30, 2019
On Monday, 1st of July 2019, Abiodun Fatoyinbo the Senior Pastor of COZA put up a statement on his Instagram page informing everyone that he had decided to step aside from the church pulpit. Pastor Poju Oyemade would later reveal on the same day that the Spiritual Leader of the COZA senior pastor had directed him to step down from the pulpit till further notice and cancel his programme which was to begin soon.
Mrs Dakolo’s story have put the COZA pastor on a hot seat as some have even been advocating that he should be prosecuted. If he is found guilty and is convicted upon prosecution, it will remind one of the very notorious Clergyman, Rev. King. Let us see consider the Reverend’s case below.
Reverend King’s Atrocities
Reverend King whose real name is Chukwuemeka Ezeugo was a popular pastor in the Lagos metropolis during the early 2000’s and the founder of Christ Praying Assembly (CPA). His dastardly acts came to the fore in 2006 after burning one of his congregates, Ann Uzoh to death. He was subsequently sentenced to death in 2007 but is still alive and in jail up till this moment.
Some of his other atrocities as a Clergyman include:
Illicit sxx with members
The Reverend was said to have been involved in illicit sxxual relationship with his church members. One Edwin Akubue who was a prominent member of his church had testified against in court that the Clergyman was in a romantic relationship with his wife before turn of events.
Violence against church members
Reverend King was known to have carried out violent acts against his church members. He himself affirmed this in court as he said, “I flog a lot. I have canes. If husband and wife mess up by having misunderstanding, I have to settle them. But the person that is at fault, I must flog. If the person refuses to be flogged, I will send him out of the church.”
There were worrying stories of how the clergyman had forced his members who he was not married to to undergo some very perverted sxxual rituals such as ingesting his semen. Miss Susan Chizoba, who was his maid had said that he ordered her to always be stark naked when serving him.
Lessons To Be Learnt
When comparing both religious personalities, it is clear that they have a pattern of manipulating their victims to make them believe that they were doing the right thing. In the case of Reverend King confirmed as he has been convicted, while Pastor Fatoyinbo is only an accused person as at yet.
Mrs Dakolo had alleged that the COZA senior pastor had told her that she should be happy that it was a man of God who “did this to her”. That would have confused a sixteen year old girl who had just had her first sxxual encounter. Reverend King on the other hand had according to Miss Susan Chizoba, told them that he was god and master of the universe.
The big problem when following both cases is the fact that some church goers look at their pastors as a god of sorts or as some supernatural individual who can do no wrong. Take for example the case of the Reverend telling his maid to strip down completely naked before she could serve him. That instruction reeks of a sxxual pervert whose perversions has crossed the Rubicon, without a hope for redemption.
It would come as a surprise to many that she would obey this directive instead of walking away, but she carried out every wish of her master until she was almost killed.
It is not a surprise to see people going to their pastors to seek direction on every step. Some married women would even give their pastors more respect than they would their husband. Some would disrespect their parents but attend to their pastors like kings. There have been reports of students using their school fees to sow seeds in churches, eventually running into debts.
The truth is that while it is not out of place to honour pastors, we should be careful as church goers not to venerate them in a manner that might even be disrespectful to God himself. We sometimes give these pastors so much power that they eventually use this power to disrespect us and we may never even get to realise this until it is too late.
This needs to stop so we don’t get to hear more heartbreaking stories such as that of Mrs Busola Dakolo and countless other stories untold.
Another thing is one should not be too trusting with some of these “Men of God”, after all we are all humans. Parents should as well educate their children on sxxual matters so that it would not be easy for just anyone to take advantage of them. The importance of sxxual education in this regard cannot be overemphasized,
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