Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, has bowed to public pressure following rape allegations, announcing his temporary break from pastoral activities at COZA.
The accused Christian minister made the announcement on Monday in a statement he posted on his Instagram account @biodunfatoyinbo.
Fatoyinbo had hinted to that effect on Sunday during a sermon at the Abuja church, saying that church elders were looking into the allegations against him, and that their verdict will reflect “truth and justice to all.”
His statement reads:
“The past few days have been very sobering for me. I have taken time to pray and seek spiritual counsel from Christian leaders around the world who felt very concerned about the ongoing reports in the media.
“I have solicited their guidance on actions to take that will honour our Lord Jesus Christ and the work He has called me to do.
“Drawing from their counsel and that of the leadership of the COZA, and owing to my love for God and the sacred honour of calling. I have decided to take a leave of absence from the pulpit of the church.
“Although, it will break my heart to tatters, to stay a day without doing ministry I believed. But it is the right thing to do at this time. It is in the interest of the flock of Christ that issues concerning me do not become a distraction to their worship of their Lord.
“This step enables me to submit to the concerns of my spiritual mentors as they consider all the issues that have been raised against me. My confidence in Lord remains unwavering.
“Though, I do not understand all that is happening, I trust the Lord to lead and guide me one step at a time. Kindly pray for me and the congregation of COZA as we seek the face of God during these turbulent times.”
Related: Holy war at COZA church
Fatoyinbo had been under serious social media attack since last week, when he was accused of rape by Busola Dakolo, the wife of popular Nigerian musician Timi Dakolo.
Angry youths and women besieged Coza church headquarters in Abuja and other branches at different locations on Sunday to register their grievance, demanding that the famous minister resign from church leadership and submit himself to authorities for prosecution.
There was a counter protest that was later revealed to have been hired by the church to disrupt the activities of the women protesters.