Saturday, 29 June 2019

#PastorStepDown: Nigerians are asking COZA pastor, Biodun Fatoyinbo to step down amid rape allegations as protesters vow to storm the church on Sunday

Amid the accusations of rape against founder of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Biodun Fatoyinbo, Nigerians, including celebrities are calling for the pastor to step down.

Busola Dakolo, wife of singer Timi Dakolo, had on Friday, narrated how Fatoyinbo allegedly raped her twice when she was 16.

Fatoyinbo also responded, saying he’s never raped anyone before.

However, since the story broke many Nigerians have taken to social media to attack the pastor, based on the fact that this is not the first time he's being accused of sexual abuse by his church members.

The most prominent was that of Ese Walter in 2013. Walter shared her experience on a self-named blog, which has now been deleted.

Fatoyinbo had also denied the allegation, attributing it to his enemies.

Many are now asking Fatoyinbo to resign as pastor with the hashtag #PastorStepDown, after actor and YouTuber, Akah Bants, who is a member of the church, first made the call.

Bants wrote on Instagram:
I am calling on everyone to do the right thing. Use your voice. Use your platform. Gospel artists and pastors…. Speak out. Silence means you are also part of it.
For now, I will be retreating because I do not want to be in the centre of this. I am not fighting. And I don’t want the attention. I believe good people know what to do from here on. Let us still be respectful and also mind the words we use in this movement.
For those who feel lost, please don’t give up on your faith. Jesus is real. God is real and true. Just calm down. The body of Christ will still prevail.
We are not mad. Just do what is right."

See other comments below.

Meanwhile, people claiming to be members of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) have been reportedly reaching out to social media influencers to carry out a social media campaign in defence of their pastor.

According to The Cable, social media opinion influencers are being offered as much as N2 million to upload posts in defence of Fatoyinbo.

There have been comments from various persons on social media in defence of the pastor including from Reno Omokri, a former presidential spokesman, who said the story rings false.

In a flurry of tweets, the ex-aide stated that although he never liked Fatoyinbo for personal reasons; the preacher was too “sleek” and won’t stoop so low to “rape an underage girl” in her parents’ house.

Also some protesters under the platform of #ChurchTooMovement have vowed to storm the church headquarters in Abuja on Sunday.

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