Rape is a strong word. An allegation of rape elicits strong reactions. Busola Dakolo set the Nigerian internet on fire when a YouTube video of her being interviewed by Chude Jideonwo, a respected Nigerian writer and media personality, went viral on Friday, June 28. Busola Dakolo is the wife of popular Nigerian singer Timi Dakolo.
In the interview, she alleged that Biodun Fatoyinbo, founder and leader of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), raped her when she was 16 years old. Her husband, Timi Dakolo, had dropped hints on social media, but no one saw what was coming.
She has received massive support from both celebrities and the rest of us. She has also received hate, ridicule, and slut-shaming from a few people who think she went too far. Pastor Fatoyinbo, who has previously been accused of sexual indiscretions by two women, has released a statement vehemently denying the accusations and threatening to sue Bukola Dakolo. On Sunday, during church service, his wife Pastor Modele Fatoyinbo also denied on his behalf, saying even as an unbeliever he never raped anyone.
Rape is a type of sexual assault involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration, carried out against a person without that person’s consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority, … Worldwide, rape is primarily committed by males.
Rape by strangers is usually less common than rape by people the victim knows (Wikipedia).According to Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), “Findings from a National Survey carried out in 2014 on Violence Against Children in Nigeria confirmed one in four females reported experiencing sexual violence in childhood, with approximately 70% reporting more than one incident of sexual violence. In the same study, it was found that 24.8% of females ages 18 to 24 years experienced sexual abuse prior to age 18, of which 5.0% sought help, with only 3.5% receiving any service.”Despite these statistics, people still disbelieve stories of rape.
On Friday morning alone, I had to share at least five arguments on the Bukola Dakolo and Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo saga on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. People maintained conflicting opinions, intense sentiments, and anyone with an opposing view was typically labelled emotional or illogical. I watched the rape allegation interview over and over again, not because I didn’t believe her, but because I didn’t want to forget how dangerous it is, much like throwing oneself under the bus, when accusing a rich and powerful religious leader of sexual assault that happened decades ago.
People ponder: why she is coming out? why now? I think any time is right for a vulnerable victim to voluntarily share their story. We seem to conveniently forget this man in question has been accused of being a sexual predator more than once, though weirdly, his ardent supporters demand more proof. I have also gone on the internet and followed videos of his wife, Pastor Modele, and himself preaching. He remains a beautiful man, smooth, oratorically gifted, sadly, enough to conceivably have made a seventeen-year-old to perhaps have been awestruck and wanted to be around him.I am going to share the kind of the people I found on the internet talking about this story;
People who have conspiracy theories. Some theorists believe the couple is working for the enemies of the popular pastor, and is trying to bring him down with these stories that are, coincidentally. coming out at such an important time for the church. An event, the #COZA7DG2019 holding from 1st-7th of July. People who believe she allowed it by some actions of hers. Most people are rape apologists without recognizing it. They always find a way to rationalize the motive behind rape or sexual violence. One Facebook user commented “I recall the Mills and Boon novels I used to read, how most of the men were older, dashing, sure of themselves, how as a teenager I used to crush on the uncle living in the opposite flat. I could have arranged anything to capture his attention.”Some people think it was part consensual sex, part rape. She may have precipitated it, thinking he was as besotted as she was, only for him to violate her. Some are claiming to know her past life and how this life may have enabled rape.
Reno Omokri, in his post on Friday, poked holes at the whole story. He wrote: “Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo is sleek. Too sleek for my liking. What type of sleek man will rape an underaged girl in her parents house? While her siblings are at home. And then leave her to go get a drink from his car. Is this mass hypnosis?” He said he was a UK trained lawyer, and the story will not hold up in court.
There were people concerned about Timi Dakolo. Some people only believe Busola Dakolo because of her marital status. They applaud Timi Dakolo for “allowing” his wife to talk about being raped. Some of them have found a way to tie the whole incidence to a ploy by him (Timi) to trend and her (Bukola) as trying to support her husband, Timi’s tepid career. Sounds ridiculous, but you won’t believe how perspectives differ.
There are people asking ‘Why now’? Some people think Busola coming out almost after twenty years, knowing precisely he (Biodun) had in the past been accused of sexual indiscretions by other women, is to bring him down for unknown reasons. They argue, since she also admitted that he apologised to her many years ago, she should have let it go. They are convinced she is making things up since she waited this long to come forward with her alleged rape.
Then, there are people standing with Busola Dakolo. In all of this, the most insistent voices are the voices of people standing with Busola Dakolo. Many of them, notable celebrities, have come out to openly support her for her incredible strength and extraordinary courage. They maintain that her speaking out will give other victims of rape and sexual assault permission to speak as well. Many of them have used the hashtag #IStandWithBusolaDakolo. Other people have become bolder sharing rape stories and appealing to parents to always believe their children. Abike Dabiri Erewa, ex-aide to Buhari, also declared support: “You got my back.” She described how she supported a bill that prescribes life imprisonment for sexual molesters.
Stella Damasus has joined her voice by announcing that Pastor Fatoyinbo also molested a friend.People erring on the side of caution. In all of this, some people are choosing to be careful, and won’t outrightly declare support for Mrs Dakolo. Daddy Freeze, a popular radio OAP known for his hardline stance concerning men of God, still insists it’s a sensational allegation in a post he made on Instagram. Others are of the opinion that they like the pastor personally, and do not believe he is capable of rape. Some other people are holding onto the bible quote “Touch not my anointed and cause my prophet no harm” and sitting on the fence as a result.
I am keenly interested in this remarkable story, not because of Pastor Fatoyinbo’s day job or the moral expectations placed on him as a direct result of this job, but because of the how rarely people who talk about sexual exploitation are believed. The burden of proof is all on the victim. I am also aware of the disastrous consequences of falsely accusing another of rape.
What makes Pastor Fatoyinbo really unlucky is the fact that he has a history of being accused by women of being a sexual predator. This allegation of rape is terribly heavy. To those worried about her motives, I think they should relax. Instead of fretting, they should rather be inspired about the change this story, when proved accurate, will bring about. The reforms, the consciousness, the awakening. The considerable number of young women who will henceforth expose employers, religious leaders, relatives, leaders, etc.
Please do share the category you fall under. If you are reading this, you already know where I stand.