Women numbering over two hundred have stormed the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) on a peaceful protest to force immediate resignation of Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo as the lead preacher of the Pentecostal congregation.
The protesters numbering about 200 at about 8:30 am on Sunday converged on the COZA headquarters in Abuja to protest the raging allegations of rape involving Pastor Fatoyinbo.
The demonstrators, largely women, dressed in white T-shirts and carried placards bearing a variety of condemnations of rape allegedly carried out by the Clergy man. They also put a black sellotape on their mouth to gag themselves in an apparent reverence to victims of rape and other violent sexual encounters.
Although Mr Fatoyinbo had faced previous accusations of inappropriate sexual behaviour, protesters said they were more enraged by the recent claims of Busola Dakolo, a mother of three who has been married to musician Timi Dakolo.
Mrs Dakolo said she was allegedly raped at 16 by Fatoyinbo at her family home in Ilorin, Kwara State. The incident appeared to have occurred between the late 1990s and early 2000s — when she saw Mr Fatoyinbo as a mentor while he was trying to cut his teeth as a shrewd pentecostal preacher.
“This is a personal matter for me,” Olatunji Olarewaju, one of the protesters, told PREMIUM TIMES as the crowd moved towards the church at about 9:00 a.m. “This is a matter that borders not just on moral but criminal tendencies.”
Many of those who attended the sit-in outside the COZA Abuja, the largest of the church’s five branches across the country, found personal connections in Mrs Dakolo’s story and shared in her ordeal.
A simultaneous protest to demand Mr Fatoyinbo’s resignation held at the church’s branch in Lagos on Sunday morning.