The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has pledged support for Biodun Fatoyionbo, embattled pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) church, amid the rape allegations made against him.
This is a reversal of the Christian association’s previous stance on the rape scandal — having claimed that COZA is not a member and that getting involved in the case would be outside its jurisdiction.
In a video shared in the early hours of Monday and currently making the rounds on social media, CAN officials were seen at COZA’s Sunday service declaring solidarity for Fatoyinbo and the church.
Among them are Jonah Samson, FCT CAN chairman, and Israel Akanji, chairman of the north-central zone of CAN.
“It’s a pleasure being here and I assure you that we are with you and we will continue to be with you. We are in support of the church. We are in support of your pastor,” Samson said.
“We stand by him and this church will continue to march forward. I say and I declare, the gates of hell shall not prevail in any church in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.”
So CAN representatives went to COZA to show support for Biodun Fatoyinbo yesterday. Nigeria really is a "special" country lol pic.twitter.com/03ELk13XtP
— Wole (@Kingwole) July 15, 2019
Akanji described the rape allegation as a ‘Jerusalem-Jericho road’ and added that he is obliged to take a supportive stance on behalf of the church and the concerned clergyman.
“How can I and then the FCT chairman hear that one church that God has a plan and purpose for is going through this Jerusalem-Jericho road and then we will walk away? We will not do such a thing. We are here to just let you know we are with you in prayer,” he said.
“The Lord will bring you out even stronger. Our pastor here, by the grace of God, will continue to be the voice of God to proclaim (to) the whole nations of the world the mysteries of Jesus Christ. You are not alone.”
Fatoyinbo has been in the centre of the rape scandal since Busola Dakolo, a celebrity photographer and wife of Timi Dakolo, Nigerian singer, alleged that the clergyman had sexually defiled when she was a teenager.