The insider moves that led to the stepping down of the Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, are emerging as one of the prime actors, Pastor Poju Oyemade, has given a brief insight.
His insight on Instagram elicited a response from an Abuja-based pastor who said, more or less, that the purging of the leadership of the Nigerian Christian community had become imperative.
Fatoyinbo had been accused of alleged rape by celebrity photographer, Mrs. Bukola Dakolo, wife of Bayelsa-born musician, Timi Dakolo, who claimed she was forced to speak out on been alleged disvirgined by the flamboyant preacher when she was 16.
Since her interview, there has been a rash of allegations on social media on the pastor.
Fatoyinbo has since denied the allegation, but stepped down from his lofty position due to pressure from the clergy and public outcry.
Oyemade had written in his post: “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 20 years 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”.
Abuja-based Senior Pastor of Strong House Church, Rev. Polycarp Gbaja, in his response to Pastor Oyemade wrote:
“Thank you for your efforts on this, Pastor Poju; God bless you. It is a good beginning to deal with what is but a symptom of a major dysfunction in the Body of Christ affecting money, sex and power, especially among it’s leaders.
“A sad fall in our moral values as a people now seems apparent as having roots in those charged to be salt and light to the world. I feel shame because this is the kind of society we have built by comission and omission.
“It is human to err, but when clear deliberateness over time and instances is apparent or visible in our attitude and conduct, then we are clearly without excuse. Such has removed significantly from our spiritual authority in the land.
“And God cannot be made to let it go on indefinitely. God is no Respecter of persons. And we better be ready for a House cleaning that has already begun.
“If we do not audit (judge) ourselves, then audit would happen externally, well beyond our individual controls.
“Our authority in the land is a direct function of our personal, spiritual, moral & social responsibilities, accountability and conduct.
“It is time to REINVENT ourselves, because this cup is full.
“The state of our country and quality of life of our society also speaks volumes on the state of The Church.
“May we rise to the challenge before us and God’s expectations of us as His witnesses and ambassadors to a world really gone bad”.