The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has described the rape allegation against Biodun Fatoyionbo, pastor of the Commonwealth of Assembly (COZA) church, by Busola Dakolo, photographer and wife of Timi Dakolo, as a ‘Jerusalem-Jericho road’ story, throwing its wait behind the embattled clergyman.
In a video shared on Monday and still trending on social media, CAN officials were seen at COZA’s Sunday service declaring solidarity for Fatoyinbo and the church.
This is a reversal of the CAN’s previous position on the rape allegation. It had earlier said that COZA is not a member and therefore getting involved in the case would be outside its jurisdiction.
Among CAN officials seen the new video are Jonah Samson, FCT CAN chairman, and Israel Akanji, chairman of the north-central zone of CAN.
Samson said, “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.”
“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.”
Akanji himself described the rape allegation as a ‘Jerusalem-Jericho road,’ noting 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.”
Mrs Dakolo had recently alleged that Fatoyinbo had sexually defiled her when she was 16 going to 17.