Durotoye Asks Embattled COZA Pastor, Fatoyinbo To Step Down

File Photo: ANN presidential candidate, Fela Durotoye

 

Motivational Speaker, Fela Durotoye, has asked the embattled Founder of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Biodun Fatoyinbo, to step down as the senior pastor of the church.

He made the call on Saturday in the wake of allegations of rape against the pastor, as well as protests demanding him to step down.

The demand follows a recent interview in which Busola Dakolo – a photographer and wife of talented musician, Timi Dakolo, said the pastor had raped her when she was a teenager.

According to Durotoye, stepping down would pave the way for independent investigations without interference.

Read Also: Protest At COZA Over Rape Allegation Against Pastor Fatoyinbo

“The truth will either vindicate or exonerate but without a doubt, the truth will serve justice as it heals a hurting society whose faith has been battered and whose hope may be shattered if this is ‘swept under the carpet,” he said.

Meanwhile, the former presidential candidate thanked Busola for “finding the strength and the courage to break her silence & speak her truth”.

 

Read his statement below.

The wise King Solomon once said … There is a time for everything … A time to be silent and a time to speak.

But you may ask, how do you know when it is time to be silent or to speak up? For me, the answer is quite simple …. when the ‘PEACE of silence’ is taken away from you & the ‘BURDEN of silence’ becomes too heavy to bear.

Only a few people ever find the courage to break out of the PRISON of silence & to speak up about a hurt, a pain, a shame or a fear that has kept them silent for many years.

Please understand that … the way we all react when their silence is broken will either release them into a life of freedom or repress them back into the darkness & bondage of silence; sometimes for the rest of their lives.

Worse still, many of the people who are still under the BONDAGE of silence are also watching to see how we speak & act when someone else finds the courage to break their silence & speak up about something that makes us all uncomfortable.

And so, I thank my dear sister Busola Dakolo for finding the strength and the courage to break her silence & speak her truth. I salute your courage even as I encourage everyone under the bondage of silence to please find the courage to speak up & lighten their burden. Your voice may be the only source of strength and courage that others (who may be in a similar or different circumstance) will hear and be encouraged to break their silence.

Yesterday (Fri.28thJune), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo broke his silence and responded contrary to the allegations.

To be clear, I do not have any desire to be a judge nor do I have the competence to judge such an egregious case but I know this for sure … that serious allegations such as RAPE deserve to be fully investigated especially where the names of witnesses have been mentioned and their identities revealed in the story.

I strongly believe that a thorough and independent investigation can only be in the best interest of everyone concerned as well as in the best interest of the body of Christ & the society at large.

To this end, I call on all leaders in the body of Christ to SPEAK UP & DEMAND A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION OF THESE ALLEGATIONS IMMEDIATELY. With all due respect to all our ‘fathers and mothers of faith’, this is NOT a time to be silent. This is the time to speak up.

Now … the scriptures (in Mathew 5:23) provide us with a guide for such a precarious time as this … “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and then remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift at the altar first go & be reconciled to them and then come back & offer your gift.” Without a doubt, Pastor @BiodunFatoyinbo is a gifted preacher & teacher of God’s Word … but, our sister @BusolaDakolo has brought a serious allegation against him. Therefore, in line with the scriptures, it is only appropriate that he leaves his gift (preaching & teaching) at the altar in order to first go and attend to this matter, reconcile with the truth and, if exonerated, then return to the altar to serve God’s people with his gift.

The scriptures clearly advise that he should take a break and step aside in order for this investigation to be concluded & justice pronounced.

This is what great leaders do in every nation we admire. Great leaders hold themselves to higher standards of scrutiny and accountability to the people they lead.

This is why they usually step aside in the face of serious allegations to pave the way for independent investigations without interference.

This is especially the case whenever allegations of serious misconduct or crime such as RAPE have been made and named witnesses can be called to testify.

There may be different sides to a story but there will always be only ONE SIDE TO THE TRUTH … and through the transparent process of an independent investigation, THE TRUTH will surely prevail.

“The truth will either vindicate or exonerate but without a doubt, the truth will serve justice as it heals a hurting society whose faith has been battered and whose hope may be shattered if this is ‘swept under the carpet” he said.

#iStandWithTheTruth
#BreakTheSilence
#SpeakUp

Fela Durotoye.

Protest At COZA Over Rape Allegation Against Pastor Fatoyinbo

 

Protesters have stormed the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) in Abuja over the rape allegation against the Founder of the church, Biodun Fatoyinbo.

Bearing placards with inscriptions such as ‘Thou shall not rape’, and ‘Your pastor is not your God’, the protesters are calling on the pastor to step down, and be investigated, among other things.

The protesters had converged on an NNPC filling station close to the church in Guzape before proceeding to the church, which is holding its first Sunday service since Busola Dakolo, photographer and wife of musician Timi Dakolo accused the pastor of raping her, 20 years ago when she was 18.

READ ALSO: Rape Controversy: Masked Security Officials Surround COZA

The pastor has denied the allegation, but many including celebrities and leaders of civil society groups are demanding an investigation and have expressed support for Busola. Many others have also defended the pastor.

The latest scandal to involve the pastor has dominated social media discuss for days with the push for a protest gaining traction through Friday and Saturday.

In 2013, a member of the church, Ese Walters, had alleged that she and the pastor had an affair.

Ahead of the protest, security was tightened at the church with masked police officers, soldiers and members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps stationed around it.

See Photos Below:

Alleged Rape: Protesters In Solidarity March For COZA Pastor, Fatoyinbo

PHOTOS: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

 

Protesters have countered an initial protest by some concerned Nigerians against the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Abiodun Fatoyinbo, who was accused by Mrs Busola Dakolo of raping her at 16 years old in her parents’ house.

The group of young Nigerians appeared at the church premises on Sunday afternoon, displaying placards in solidarity to the pastor.

RELATED: Protest At COZA Over Rape Allegation Against Pastor Fatoyinbo

Rape Allegations: COZA Cancels Special Annual Programme

The placards had inscriptions: “I love Pastor Biodun,” and “Pastor Biodun is a blessing,” among others.

Meanwhile, a team of security personnel were equally around to barricade the road and deny the protesters, access into the church premises.

See photos below:

Rape Allegations: COZA Cancels Special Annual Programme

PHOTO: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

 

Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) has cancelled its yearly special programme “Seven Days of Glory”, scheduled to hold from July 1-7, 2019.

Senior Pastor, Abiodun Fatoyinbo, made the announcement to members on Sunday during church service.

The special programme COZA7DG, usually have several international pastors attended, and this edition is meant to host Pastor John Hannah, Pastor Korede Komaiya and Prophet Gideon Danso.

RELATED: Rape Allegation: Celebrities Back Busola Dakolo, COZA Pastor Reacts

Protest At COZA Over Rape Allegation Against Pastor Fatoyinbo

Fatoyinbo revealed that the cancellation followed consultation with his spiritual leaders and church elders who asked him not to put the special guests through the risk of protests amid allegations of rape against him.

He added that his “elders” were handling the situation and he expressed sadness at the huge deployment of security agents in the church.

Busola Dakolo, photographer and wife of musician Timi Dakolo had accused Pastor Abiodun Fatoyinbo, of rape in an interview with Y!Naija on Friday.

Mrs Dakolo said that Fatoyinbo did the act when she was 16 years old at her parents’ home.

The allegation sparked social media storm, with thousands sharing their views on the matter, while several celebrities expressed their support for her and called for an investigation into the matter.

The COZA senior pastor has denied the rape allegations.

Rape Controversy: Masked Security Officials Surround COZA

PHOTOS: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

 

Security officials including personnel of the Nigerian Army, the police, Nigerian Civil Defence Corps have stormed the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) in Abuja.

This comes days after the Founder of the church Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, was accused of rape, an allegation he has denied.

At the church, located in Guzape, more than 30 security officials were present with security vehicles parked at strategic points. The deployment is higher than the usual security presence during services.

READ ALSO: Rape Allegation: Celebrities Back Busola Dakolo, COZA Pastor Reacts

Today’s service is the first since Busola Dakolo, a photographer and wife of musician Timi Dakolo, accused the pastor of raping her when she was 16.

Her allegation has led to calls by many Nigerians and groups for the arrest and investigation of the pastor.

Many others have also stood by the pastor who issued a statement saying he has never raped anyone even as an unbeliever.

See photos below:

Rape Allegation: Celebrities Back Busola Dakolo, COZA Pastor Reacts

Source: Bukola Dakolo Images

 

Busola Dakolo, photographer and wife of musician Timi Dakolo has accused the Founder of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Abiodun Fatoyinbo, of rape.

In an interview with Y!Naija, the photographer alleged that the incident happened when she was 16 years old at her parents’ home, a duplex.

“My mum had traveled with my sister and it was just my other sister in the house. The house was so big that if you were upstairs, you would not know what is happening downstairs,” she said while sharing her story.

The allegation has sparked a social media storm, with thousands sharing their views on the matter.

Several celebrities have expressed support for her and called for an investigation into the matter.

See some of the reactions below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#Unbroken #IamReady #ItsTmeForTruth #ThatLittleGirlDidntDie #SueMeIfYouDare

A post shared by Busola Dakolo (@busoladakolo) on

 

Coza Pastor Reacts.

Meanwhile, the pastor has also responded to the allegations, saying he has never raped anyone before even as an unbeliever in the past.

He described the claims as “all fallacious and non-existent” and only aimed at ruining his reputation and that of the church.

While the couple, Bukola and Timi appear willing to go to any length in fighting for the truth, with hashtag #SueUsIfYouDare, the pastor has also stated that his lawyers have been briefed and legal actions will commence soon.

See the full statement in his Instagram post below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I have NEVER RAPED before , not even as an unbeliever!

A post shared by Biodun Fatoyinbo (@biodunfatoyinbo) on