Despite the unusual heavy presence of armed policemen, protesters, mostly women, Sunday morning marched on the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) church in Lagos.
But the presence of the armed policemen deterred the marchers chanting “No to Rape” from moving close to the church. A similar protest was staged in 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 a right activist Segun Awosanya told The Guardian that there were more than 30 alleged victims who will testify against the pastor.
A few protesters who spoke to The Guardian in Lagos said the pastor should step down as the leader of COZA to allow for proper investigations.
“This is about all the rape victims,” said Mercy Makinde, a women’s rights advocate and founder of Amazing Amazon Initiative, an anti-rape and women empowerment group.
“Particularly about those that have been raped in churches. Pastors are enjoying immunity because they are pastors, because they run the church.”
Makinde urged other women that may have been molested by the pastor to reach out to her group with her evidence for possible litigation.
“Busola’s [Dakolo] evidence alone may not be substantial,” she said. “We need other people to come out.”
Source: The Guardian