Despite the unusual heavy presence of armed policemen, protesters, mostly women, this morning marched on the branches of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) church in Abuja, the federal capital territory and Lagos. But the presence of the armed policemen deterred the marchers chanting “No to Rape” from moving close to the church.
Members of #ChurchToo were blocked by a human barricade of COZA members who linked arms about one hundred and fifty metres from the church auditorium in Guzape, Abuja.
The protest was called against the global senior pastor of COZA, Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo who was alleged to have raped Busola Dakolo, a celebrity photographer and wife of Nigerian singer Timi Dakolo, when she was a teenager. The pastor denied any wrongdoing, claiming that he never raped anyone.
But right activists have claimed there are more than thirty alleged victims who will testify against the pastor. A few protesters said the pastor should step down as the leader of COZA to allow for proper investigations. A group of men engaged however participated in a in a counter-protest.
In Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, the church was filled to the brim with heavy presence of security personnel. All branches linked up with the Abuja main church. Meanwhile, the embattled Pastor, Abiodun Fatoyinbo, while addressing congregants cancelled this year edition of the church’s yearly programme, “Seven Days of Glory”.