Ever since Busola Dakolo, wife to singer, Timi Dakolo opened up about being raped twice by the Senior Pastor of CommonWealth of Zion Assembly, COZA, P
Ever since Busola Dakolo, wife to singer, Timi Dakolo opened up about being raped twice by the Senior Pastor of CommonWealth of Zion Assembly, COZA, Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, the media space has been agog with everyone making their own submission about the rape allegation. The photographer and mother-of-three had narrated how Pastor Fatoyinbo forced his way into her as a minor back in Ilorin, Kwara State. While Fatoyinbo has stepped down from ministering on the pulpit in the church he founded, he however, denied the allegation. He also threatened to institute a libel suit against Busola.
Pastors, majorly from the Pentecostal fold, have now given their two cents on the issue. Here are a few of their submissions.
Pastor Poju Oyemade: Senior pastor of the Covenant Christian Centre
Pastor Oyeade revealed that the spiritual father to Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), told him to step down amid the rape allegations. In a lengthy Instagram post, Oyemade, who had invited Fatoyinbo to preach in his church a few times, also explained why the COZA founder cannot be easily sanctioned.
He wrote: “My position on the case. I have been asked by many well-meaning people about my position concerning the accusation of rape made against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo. I could only watch the tape by Busola Dakolo for a few minutes, it was difficult to sit through it. From what I heard it is impossible not to be heart broken and sympathise with her. She must have gone through a lot and then to sit to tape her experience must have been very painful. She is today a wife and mother of three to have to relive a 20yr old experience.
“I immediately contacted the spiritual leader in the Body of Christ I believe Pastor Biodun deferrs in authority to, to wade into the issue and bring about a decision. He informed me his position. It was that Pst Biodun should first step down from the pulpit indefinitely, suspend 7days of glory and make a public statement. These he made known to him directly in an hour. This should serve as the first step. He informed me that was the position and asked my opinion.
“We had 3 objectives in mind.
“I have been informed that the decision to step down and cancel the 7 days of Glory have been made. It is apparent that the manner in which our Pentecostal Churches were/are born with an individual receiving a call directly from God and we all operating largely as independent bodies, our governing structures are not as strong as in the orthodox church settings with the exemption of Pentecostal denominations where you are appointed a pastor and can be easily sanctioned.
“This however makes it imperative that we go an extra mile to show a high level of compassion and sense of responsibility for people placed under our care or else what has brought our great growth may be what will destroy us. For those who have been abused and exposed in our independent pentecostal structures, I deeply apologise and we will seek to build stronger structures through peer reviews and in our relationships.
Thank you and God bless you.”
Pastor Tony Rapu: Senior Pastor of This Present House Church
Tony Rapu has shared his views on the issue. In an Instagram post, he said “Many leaders lack the confidence to address sexual abuse because they do not feel adequately equipped to handle the complexities involved.
Others do not have sufficient training to address the challenges sexual or even domestic abuse matters throw up. We need to understand how this issue of sexual abuse can be addressed in the light of the Gospel.”
Pastor Sam Adeyemi: Senior Pastor of DayStar Christian Centre
Pastor Sam had this to say as well in light of the issue. He said, “My attention has been drawn to the allegations of rape made against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo by Mrs Busola Dakolo. These are, no doubt, serious allegations. Rape is a crime and I say a firm NO to rape. As Christians, it is only appropriate for us to seek for truth, justice, healing, and restoration for all involved. The Bible instructs us to do this with humility (Galatians 6:1).
“While these are still allegations, I emphatise with Mrs Dakolo and everyone that has been affected, and I pray God’s peace for them at this time. Though the allegations have been refuted, I hope there will be a process, legal or counseling, to establish the truth in these circumstances. Meanwhile, let us pray for peace and strength for everyone hurting in this process, for the families of the accusers and the accused, and the Church.
#truth #justice #healing #restoration”
Pastor Goodman Akinlabi: lead pastor, Elevation Church
He had this to say, “It is heart breaking to read and watch the various stories of rape and sexual misconduct that have permeated the Nigerian media in the last 48 hours. Every claimant and aggrieved person deserves our collective support to find justice, healing, wholeness and the strength to move on and victim shaming should not be part of our response. Allegations of rape, especially against people in positions of authority and high visibility should not be trivialised but dealt with swiftly and decisively both legally and within the ambits of corporate governance. If they are found to be innocent they too should find support and vindication.
I encourage everyone who needs healing and support for finding wholeness to reach out for help. It is the role of professional therapists and religious organizations not only to provide therapy but also support the quest for justice for the injured, oppressed and aggrieved. That is what Jesus will do. Speak for the oppressed, bind up the injured, rebuke the erring and restore the lost. Just like Isaiah 58 vs 6 says, “Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free.”
#istandwiththetruth #Istandforintegrity #saynotorape #speakout”
Wife of the senior pastor of DayStar Christian Center, Pastor Sam Adeyemi added her own voice, saying, “The burden I woke up with after I hardly slept through the the night. My eyes fell on this book lying across the room which I had hardly read. Broused for answers I already knew and I knew this is what I wanted to say today.
Speak up if you’ve ever been abused whether you are believed or not, you’d walk in freedom. Get help, professional counseling and trained experts. As for those who carry out, perpetuate and cover up abuse in our homes, places of worship, offices, government, schools and communities, God is watching you in 3-D because He is a merciful God yet a jealous God.
He will not share His glory with man, neither will anyone go unpunished who would allow children to suffer unjustly. Parents protect your children as much as you can, don’t be trusting and careless. I have seen enough at @drealwoman and #lovehomeorphanage .
Reaching out to prostites in brothels and on the streets since 1997 I know that lives are damaged from abuse of any sort especially sexual abuse, rape being the worst. Victims should get help and not be silent. Children often are silent out of fear. Parents as guardians be watchful over your wards! #endrape #notorape
Pastor Yemi Davids: Senior pastor, Global Impact Church
He had this to say, “Hmm…I feel the need to do this especially as a husband, father and a pastor. @busoladakolo got married from our church to @timidakolo, and as a friend to the family, I’ve been privy to some of the personal struggles Busola has had over the years, based on the details she expressed at the recent interview. This is her truth and it should be honored. I commend her for her bravery and I pray this helps her healing process.
I also noticed that there was a denial of the allegation. It is important that the truth comes out. Rape is a serious offense and it is unacceptable. A process that unveils the truth in this hurtful situation in the Body must begin immediately. We leaders MUST be accountable and I support a process at arriving at Justice, Healing and Resolution in this matter.
Pastor Emmanuel Iren, Lead Pastor, Celebration Church
“Like a pendulum, my mind has swung back and forth since I saw the Busola Dakolo interview play out yesterday. The story touched me deeply as a husband and a father of two girls. Yet, it touched me deeply as a Pastor. As a Pastor, I can say (reluctantly though) that I understand the fierce activism of those who have fought tooth and nail to vindicate their Pastor. Some part of me ( and any decent person ) will hope for such level of trust if any such allegation was leveled against me (or them). However, we must not fail to admit the peculiarity of this particular case. There just seems to be too many similar cases, enough to make even the fervent but objective loyalist take a step back to at least inquire. If Busola Dakolo is indeed in a vendetta business, what about the others?
“The sensitivity of my office as a Pastor still forces me to give at least a tiny benefit of doubt. So let’s assume for a minute that Busola and all other accusers are horrible liars, the fact still is that the allegations can no longer be ignored. Neither is a press release (which wasn’t even signed), that simply says “I didn’t do it” sufficient. We actually need that “robust response” and now.
But my biggest take home from all these is the urgent need for more effective ways to investigate and ascertain things like this. Those who know a thing or two about legal inquiry regarding rape know that this is almost a hopeless situation. Even a two-week-old rape allegation is very difficult to prove. How much more a case of seventeen years?
“I want to admit that as a Pastor, the embarrassment of such allegation being leveled against another Pastor makes me hope it’s all a lie. But as a husband and Dad, it matters to me that predators are caught and brought to book whoever they may be (should they be proven guilty). Finally, let us all consider that every other day, a young lady somewhere has her innocence snatched from her by some sexual predator. What’s worse? Many of them aren’t bold enough to talk. Amongst many reasons like the fear of been stigmatized by society, will be simple but profound concerns like “What if no one believes me?”. Or in some cases: “He is a well connected public figure. Will reporting count for anything in such a corrupt country? Sentiments aside, when a woman says she was raped, she deserves fair hearing and investigation, no matter who she says did it. My consolation is that my position as a Dad and a person of faith are reconciled in the fact that God is a loving Father. When it all comes down to it, an allegation has been made, the accused has denied, but may the truth be revealed. Amen.”
Pastor Dami Oluwatoyinbo
Since yesterday, the video of the interview @busoladakolo granted on the gruesome experiences she’s survived has sent shockwaves across the internet. Like many, I was bewildered, upset, sad, scandalized, heartbroken and felt so many other emotions. It was heartwrenching even just to consider the possibility that her account is true, how much more to juxtapose different streams of information that had filtered into my space over the years which lend credence to its authenticity. Some people call it “joining the dots”. I have several thoughts and while it may not be the time or the space to share all, I will not be silent. I can’t. Let’s start off with this piece. Many have wondered why we haven’t yet heard (m)any strong responses from clergy or spiritual leaders on such an important matter, especially considering the fact that the tithe debate and some other issues discussed in the public sparked much more reactions from their quarters within a shorter span of time.
As a pastor, I can think of a good number of reasons for that. Here are a few:
1. Some pastors are not on Social Media and won’t jump on Social Media now to air their views.
2. Some pastors run very hectic schedules and have not even seen their family members for a day or more, let alone carve out the time to watch the videos.
3. Some pastors have very sketchy and vague ideas of what transpired and don’t want to get involved without having sufficient data.
4. Some pastors are so heartbroken that they can’t even find the words to express their hurt, pain or disappointment.
5. Some pastors have been blessed or resourced by the man the allegation has been laid against and even if they believe Busola, they see speaking up as betrayal or disloyalty to the man in question.
6. Sadly, some pastors don’t believe Busola’s side of the story either because they’ve been falsely accused before or they’ve just decided to idolize a man they consider their professional colleague or brother.
7. Some think that speaking up is “touching God’s anointed” or “snitching.
8. Some pastors have this same skeleton in their cupboards and that’s why they won’t dare say a word!