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Lota O: A “Man of God” is just that … A Man!

I am not a member of this church, and sadly I only heard about them after the allegations against their founder started.

Lota

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I woke up Friday morning to several posts, reposts and reactions (good and bad) on social media, all of them about Busola Dakolo’s four-part interview, during which she recounts the rape incidents (yes incidents, plural – it happened twice) she suffered from Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, the Senior Pastor of COZA Ministries, one of Nigeria’s mega protestant churches.

This issue of rape/sexual assault, especially on the heels of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, is met with mixed reactions whenever it comes up. It’s either the survivor is immediately believed and has a lot of people supporting him/her, or the allegations and stories are met with flat out disbelief, and then some people proceed to call the survivor all sorts of names. Victim blaming commences, and the survivor ends up being shamed into silence and regrets ever speaking up. Then there are those that are sort of on the fence about it, who first try to make sense of the story by asking as many questions as possible before they decide who and what to believe.

When I saw the interview itself, I wasn’t that surprised. I sort of saw it coming, because her husband, Timi Dakolo, had previously spoken out about the issue of rape/sexual abuse by pastors, and had called out this pastor specifically, several weeks ago. Busola herself had also put up a peculiar post on Instagram just yesterday that I took to mean something big was coming.

The issues surrounding sexual abuse and rape, its prevalence, lack of justice/punishment for the perpetrators, report time, consent, and the culture of silencing and shaming of victims are currently being addressed across all social media platforms, and are perhaps a topic for a different day. However, some of the reactions to Busola’s interview that I have seen are what have me riled up.

Not surprisingly, a lot of people cannot bring themselves to begin to process or fathom that a religious figure (pastor, priest, bishop, nun, etc.) could ever engage in such shameful, criminal (and sinful) behaviour. Crazy, right? But I understand it because:

1. Cognitive dissonance:  psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously (Merriam-Webster dictionary). This is usually for friends and family of the perpetrator, or those that hold them in high regard.
2. Some people have sadly undergone the same abuse, and are not ready to acknowledge what happened to them.
3. Some people have unfortunately tied the basis of their faith and spirituality to these religious figures, and so acknowledging or believing such allegations will shake their faith. This is what I want to address today.

We are all human beings. Men of God included. Yes, they might read/understand the Bible more than others. Yes, they are charismatic and know how to get a message across. Yes, they might be able to get spiritual revelations, or possess certain gifts of the Holy Spirit. But, at the end of the day, they are just men. In fact, if anything, they are in a better position to be the perpetrators of such sexual misconducts. Why? Because, among many reasons:

1. Rape is about power, and they possess tremendous power.
2. They believe they will get away with it, because for so long, they have.
3. Rape, sometimes, is a crime of opportunity, and between the adulation and undue attention they get from their followers, the opportunity will present itself somehow, and they will take advantage of it.

I am not a member of this church, and sadly I only heard about them after the allegations against their founder started. So, I sympathise with anyone whose world seems shaken by this. But, please, let us all remember that these people are only human beings like you and me. They are not God, they are only a mouth-piece, and no one is above sin or mistakes. Please, please, please, do not let your faith in God be shaken by this.

I am Catholic, proudly so. And yes, the Catholic Church has had its own share of sex scandals that spans centuries, especially involving the sexual abuse of younger boys by priests. I have also had my fair share of abuse and molestation from religious figures that occurred when I was much younger (sometimes in my own home), and I only recently opened up to my family and friends about it. And no one had no clue.

When we are able to see past their titles and positions, one thing is clear: sexual assault/rape can happen to anyone, by anyone, anywhere, and at any time. Hopefully, when we all come to this realization, we can better prevent, manage and tackle these issues so that they don’t keep happening, and so that the perpetrators don’t go unpunished.

I commend Busola for speaking her truth. It takes a special kind of courage and bravery to speak up about something like this, especially considering her status in the society, and being a mom of three not-so-young kids. I hope she is able to find healing and peace from this. Also, kudos to her husband, Timi, for standing by her and putting himself and his reputation out there for the greater cause.

I sincerely hope that as a country, we are able to finally hold powerful people accountable, and that this man is brought to justice. And if indeed there is a different side to this story (I highly doubt it – this is not the first allegation against him), then said pastor should come out and tell it.

Hi I'm Lota, and I believe that love is the greatest gift of all. I am Nigerian, and my family and friends mean the world to me. I enjoy having great conversations and listening to people's opinions. I am a Nollywood connoisseur of sorts, and a lover of God, food, and everything pink! Writing helps me relax and process my thoughts. Professionally, I am in pursuit of a career that merges my passion for healthcare and entertainment media. 

13 Comments

  1. didi

    July 2, 2019 at 2:12 am

    My question is this, HOW MANY OF YOU ARE NOT AS GUILTY AS THIS “MAN OF GOD”. IF YOU HAVE COMMITTED MULTIPLE ABORTION are you not a MURDERER? Is a mudrer not as wicked as a rapist? If this happened 16 years ago then its possible this man has changed. Eexcept if there are proof of most recent case then its a problem and he needs to step down and handle it. But if all this crime is in his past then we should let go and let God. The american poet MAYA ANGELO i rem watching her speech on tv when president obama honoured her. She said one of her regrets was calling out the man who raped her and eventaully got arrested. She said the pain she felt worsened and she should have forgiven. I ask if these accusations are as a result of a shameful past then the victims should forgive but if its still a habit till date then its needful to raise an alarm. If God visits all our past and present and wants to decide who will be judged and condemned i dont know who will stand. You wrecked someone’s marriage and put the children on the street, you are equally evil, you defrauded someone and called it street wise you are evil, you gave your girl friend money to removed the pregnancy, you are evil,you sleep with martied men and women you are evil,you used illegal documents to travel abroad you are evil, you visit the shrine for powers you are evil, you tell lies constantly lile its your way of life, you are evil ….. should i go on and on.

    4
    • Someonecute

      July 2, 2019 at 9:04 pm

      This right here is the sole reason, why Nigeria remains the way it is. How can we develop with a mentality like this. I am a Christian, but please the law needs to take its course. The quality of a country’s judiciary’s system is a factor in national development. In the US, the perpetrator of a 20 year old crime was brought to book. He faced the court and got his sentence. The case was a long forgotten one because people didn’t come out to point Police in the right direction and this culprit was in hiding while enjoying life though.

      This is a case of RAPE of a 17yr old, if the court doesn’t find him guilty, then he is free, if they do then he should serve his time. During Jesus’ time, there were criminals that faced the law, why didn’t Jesus order the criminal on his right hand on the cross to be put down. God forgives, yes, but there are some sins that have consequences.

      This your mentality is the reason why rape cases don’t see the light of the day in Nigeria. So many children have been treated unfairly by the “community” by saying; ‘We will settle this amicably in-house, we will forgive him, he will not do it again, please don’t take him to court, don’t involve the police” That was the same thing the people Busola reported to did to her case many years ago. Years have passed and she is still looking for justice and she decided to speak up. I weep for Nigeria’s justice system! 🙁
      #Truth #Justice – before restoration!

      7
  2. didi

    July 2, 2019 at 2:39 am

    I am kost concerned on how rape vidtims can get their healing and one thing i know is if BUKOLA doesnt ask God to help her forgive this pastor, she will never heal. Its not easymo ly God can show her how to if she sincerely seek to forgive pastor biodun. When we hold on to our past our future becomes unproductive because we spend all our time dwelling ontthe past. Now that she has voiced her pain she should forgive him so she can carry on with her life and not be a VICTIM anymore but a VICTOR.

    4
  3. Biodun Fatoyinbo Biography

    July 2, 2019 at 7:02 am

    Mc olu omo na scam

  4. uche

    July 2, 2019 at 7:44 am

    Hi Lota, well said. I pray that the man( not pastor) seeks help, because he is sick and I do not mean it in a bad way. it is a sickness.

    3
  5. Concerned

    July 2, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Wow wow…Madam/Sir Didi. Your sense of reasoning is warped and you obviously know not the long standing effects of rape/molestation. If she chooses redress a million times in the process of her healing, its up to her.

    You cant FORCE/TELL her how to forgive and heal. And for the record EVERYONE should be held accountable for their sin especially where it is a crime and subject to societal laws. It would interest you to know that there are long periods/if not no statute of limitation on grievous crimes such as RAPE and MURDER.

    BTW…..You misinterpreted MAYA ANGELOU, she lost her voice due to misplaced shame and guilt she imposed on herself as a child.

    BTW 2 ……If I am found guilty of any wrong/crime, I will take up my cross and make reparations accordingly.

    10
  6. didi

    July 2, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    You dont need to insult anyone to pass a point. You need to heal my dear, it seems you are hurting also. Google MAYA ANGELO statement that fateful day then we can talk. Its easy to get the process of healing started but will everyone be there to see this woman through this process till the end? Do you think her healing ends with just calling her supposed predator out? Its just the beginning. In my little experience in counseling,this case that her HUSBAND AND CHUDE JIDEONWO has pushed her to do, they should make sure they stay by her all the way. She would need all the strength she can get to not fall into depression.Like i said earlier its not okay for her to see herslef as a victim, she has to forgive him genuinely to regain her freedom and sanity. She is a christian and The moment she looks at him in the eye and say i forgive you, she will be free.

    2
    • Seriously

      July 2, 2019 at 9:57 pm

      Didi, you can forgive and still call for justice and awareness. Calling out is part of the healing process. You free yourself.
      If someone rapes your own child, it’s your choice to forgive. People will handle it differently.
      Call out wrong, call out what’s evil. If we continue to remain silent, evil sill continue. Let people have it in their conscience, there’s consequence for their actions. Hold them accountable.

      Biodun Fatoyobi is not a changed man. What he was doing years ago is still a repeated cycle, if not worst because nobody held him
      Accountable and he keeps running from his own demon

      2
  7. didi

    July 2, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    Theres no two way to forgiveness or several ways, JESUS says, i am the WAY the TRUTH and The LIFe. The way to healing is through JESUS CHRIST and believe me theres no other way, ask God to help you forgive those that DESPITEFULY USED YOU.THERAPY or counseling can never heal mental or emotional wounds only the INVISIBLE GOD CAN. You can ask God for help except you are in christ JRSUS. Also you said if you are found committing any crime you will take up your cross. Thats not my point. I said if you havel been gulity of some shameful things in the past DONT THROW STONE ON THIS MAN, you were also forgiven. And for those that dont like the name JESUS said or invloved in any matter, get used to it cause your anger only fuels our love even more.

    3
  8. didi

    July 2, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    Theres no two way to forgiveness or several ways, JESUS says, i am the WAY the TRUTH and The LIFe. The way to healing is through JESUS CHRIST and believe me theres no other way, ask God to help you forgive those that DESPITEFULY USED YOU.THERAPY or counseling can never heal mental or emotional wounds only the INVISIBLE GOD CAN. You can ask God for help except you are in christ JRSUS. Also you said if you are found committing any crime you will take up your cross. Thats not my point. I said if you havel been gulity of some shameful things in the past DONT THROW STONE ON THIS MAN, you were also forgiven. And for those that dont like the name JESUS said or invloved in any matter, get used to it cause your anger only fuels our love even more.

    1
  9. Chinnex

    July 2, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    The truth must surely come out. Nothing is hidden. If the pastor is found guilty, he should be prosecuted

    1
  10. SirPhren

    July 2, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    You are absolutely correct Lots. But, we have only heard one side of the story. For us to know who is who, we need to hear from the pastor. And when you listen to the interview again, “someone came in through the door at past 7 in the morning and immediately pushed you to one of the chairs”, seems like a plan work.

    May God help us all

  11. Osas

    July 20, 2019 at 7:18 am

    From the article, it seems that Pastor Biodun has been tried & judged guilty already. So his official denial of the allegation means nothing just because we sympathize with the “supposed victim”. What if it turns out that the Pastor was actually the victim here…of false accusation?
    Already many have punctured holes in the whole allegation. All this means nothing? Let’s not allow our sentiments and prejudices against Pastors blind us to the possibility (no matter how slim), that this has all been a set-up. Don’t get me wrong! Rape is a heinous crime. But suspicion & actual guilt must not be taken as the same thing.

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