Hundreds of activists mostly young people were out in Lagos and Abuja demanding the step-down of Senior Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Abuja, over COZA rape allegations to allow an independent investigation.
Over 100 Groups and Individuals defiled the presence of mobile policemen and soldiers in vehicles stations in front of the church located on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Maryland Ikeja to line up the streets with various placards decrying the menace of rape allegations against the senior Pastor.
In a joint petition delivered by some leaders of the protesters, the groups expressed concern that the COZA rape allegations are taken lightly by the church and so want the COZA Trustees and Executive Council and leaders to act immediately.
The activists in their petition on the COZA Rape Allegations are demanding for an in-house committee to investigate the various COZA rape allegations “as well as happenings in the pastoral care and shine light into other areas to get to the bottom of this.
They demanded “that Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo step-down as senior Pastor of the church during this time for transparency and integrity of the committee’ report.
“A demand that during the reporting process and before decision is reached by the committee, the church should make arrangements to ensure that respondents with complaints are not stigmatized and that survivors may continue their worship [ath without re-traumatisation.
“We demand that the administration upholds the virtue of Christ in all truth not wavering or showing favouritism. An accused person cannot be defending himself still holding the rudder of leadership. This is not war on the church but that proper steps and adequate measures be taken”, the petition read in part.
The coalition of gender advocates therefore demand above all that the COZA rape allegations against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo be thoroughly investigated and justice to prevail and healing for wounded.
It would be recalled that an allegation of rape was made by Busola Dakolo wife of Music icon, Timi Dakolo last Friday and since the video went viral, quite a number of other females of COZA have opened up to allege that the COZA Pastor also raped and took advantage of them.
Pastor Biodun in a letter through the church though denied the allegation but the gender advocates are bent on getting to the bottom of the matter and are instituting a class action against the Pastor.
Some of the Groups involved in the protest on the COZA rape allegations include: Heartminders Initiative, Bruised But Not Broken Initiatives,Herfessions, Media Concern Initiative for Women & Children (MediaCon), IProtect, Osasu Paul-Azino, Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria (NRHJN) and Help for Victims of Domestic Abuse Foundation.
Some others are: Above Whispers Foundation, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Fame Foundation, Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), Alliance for inclusion, Association against Child Sexula and Gender Based Violence, Gender Advocacy for Justice Initiative (GAJI) and Alliance for Africa.
Others are:A Girl Project, Help for Victims of Domestic Abuse Foundation, Greensprings Development initiative, Fame Foundation,Arise Nigerian Woman Foundation,Centree for Children’s Health, Orientation, Education and Protection (Cee-Hope) and Education as Vaccine among several others.