Nigerian Protests Bring Famous Pastor Down

A celebrity pastor in Nigeria is to take a leave of absence after a photographer accused him of rape. Nicknamed “Gucci Pastor” for his expensive taste in clothes and cars, Biodun Fatoyinbo runs the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (Coza), one of the country’s fastest-growing pentecostal churches. The allegations by Busola Dakolo, who is married to the well-known musician Timi Dakolo, led to protests outside the pastor’s churches on Sunday. Fatoyinbo, who strongly denies the allegations, issued a statement saying he was taking “a leave of absence from the pulpit” to “submit to the concerns of (his) spiritual mentors”, and that he did not understand all that was happening. The claims have prompted a number of allegations on social media from women abused or raped by people in authority in religious circles, which some have called Nigeria’s #MeToo moment. Omolara Oriye, a human rights and advocacy director at the Initiative for Equal Rights, was one of those who protested outside the church’s main Abuja branch, defying members of the secret police on standby. She said Dakolo’s testimony and the outpouring of support showed women were refusing to be silent.SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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