Sunday, 30 June 2019

The Pastor Fatoyinbo Saga: One Attack, Too Many ..By Chuba Keshi

I normally would not lend a voice to a debate where the conduct of a man is on the burner. However, this time I differ for three reasons. The first is that I want to bring to our attention the need to stop chasing rats when our house is on fire.

The second reason is that there appears to be Esau’s hand, but Jacob’s voice in the attack against the moral standing of reverend gentlemen, particularly in Nigeria of today. The third reason I write is that the stories in question against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, as touching as they may sound, do not add up.

The Reverend Jimmy Swaggart was arguably the first televangelist to become famous. His fame even soared following his estrangement from the moral society resulting from a sex scandal by one of his flock in the late seventies. Since the days of the Swagartgate that rocked Christendom, the household of God has suffered violence; in this case non-physical or subtle violence.

It has become a place where mostly women; sometimes men, seek quick recognition, fame from the back door, and sometimes; most times, large pecuniary settlements. The latest victim of this seething mess is the Reverend gentleman Biodun Fatoyinbo of the (COZA), based in Abuja.

Firstly, why should we be distracted from the more burning national issues of terrorism from many quarters? Why should we be distracted on the more important debate on Ruga and the threat to RAPE ancestral lands of Middle Belters and Southern Nigeria? Why are we not bothering about the inept government of the day? Why should we burn our time and energy on the conduct of a man when an aggrieved can quietly go to court?

Further, the Holly Book admonishes us to touch not the anointed and do His prophets no harm (Psalms 105:15). Yet, Priests of all denominations in Christendom, the Church, and Christendom itself are always quick to get into the lexicon and into the prose of the comedian. And it does appear that laughter is loudest amidst a comedian’s audience when a Pastor or the Church is the subject of comedy.

And there is what I consider a new genre of comedy. This refers to a rising tendency for persons I mentioned earlier; young women and men to engage in all sorts of weird subterfuges to ridicule risen or rising stars in the vineyard of God. From the reports I have read there appears to be a trending wave of accusations against the young man.

While not holding brief for him, I want to attempt some analysis of one accusation that I have read. This is the one by a certain Mrs. Busola Dakolo. The young woman alleges she was raped at 17 by the Pastor, some twenty years ago. One thing that is curious about her allegation is a particular incident she relayed. She alleged that the man visited her home as early as 6 a.m.

It is most curious how a man, Pastor; even Pope can have unbridled access to a seventeen-year-old minor who was certainly not living alone, by as early as 6 a.m. The report I read attempted to explain how he managed to beat her parents’ watch, and those of her siblings, all of who had traveled at the time the man visited, according to her story.

Now it seems to me that a young girl in her prime; just before adulthood, alone in the house, will not simply go open the door for a knocker at 6 am, wearing her nightgown with all the temptations the gown carries in its wake. Even if the knocker was spoken to and he said he was father Abraham, a seventeen-year old would still not let father Abraham see the voluptuous transparency her nightgown would be offering, at the time.

Again this is the first time I am hearing a testimony from a girl who had never had sex before, sheepishly losing her virginity the way she narrated without a fight whatsoever. Again, by the time in question, the young Pastor was just a budding Pastor and not the superstar he might be today. So what commanded that sheepish obedience unto the loss of the most prized virtue of womanhood?

Further, I did not read anything in her account that suggests hypnosis. Certainly not from the Holy Spirit; that latter who never sees evil. I also did not hear of any hypnosis that may have come from the kingdom of Egypt. So I am still at a loss. A seventeen-year old may be a minor, but certainly not a zombie. Again to disvirgin a woman does not come easy.

What happened to the struggle that follows attempts to penetrate? What happened to the screams that could have aroused the neighbourhood? Someone did suggest that the house must have been sound-proofed. Was that the case? Indeed, there are more questions than answers, as the rhymester writes.

Again, it seems to me that a woman that reels out all that she did, twenty years after, and happily married to a superstar, stands to lose a lot, all things considered. This is more so when one considers what could have made her wait this long to speak. Firstly, she did not say the sexual harassment is still on, now that she is married.

She still did not say who she confided in when the incident(s) of rape happened and why they all chose to be silent then, particularly her parents she was living with when it happened. The whole narrative becomes more curious when one considers the fact that with her account, a fresher from law school with a pass degree and third class in law school, will blow her case to smithereens in court.

So, what has motivated this outburst? Again, more questions than answers. I want to attempt an answer. Not long ago, Pastor Suleman Johnson became a vociferous challenger of a certain governor of one of the Northern States whom he accused of an agenda to attack Christendom in Nigeria. As the young man raved in his rage, a certain young woman Stephanie Otobo came to give him something to occupy his time.

Since the Otobo incident, the Reverend Suleman Johnson has not been attacking the said governor. While the Otobo/governor attack may be a coincidence, there is something that agitates my mind. It seems to me that what we have not been told which pundits must find out, is what big thing Fatoyinbo is up to. And why some people want to stop him.

There are a lot of topical issues in Nigeria worthy of a position by daring Christian preachers. Is Fatoyinbo up to one such issue? In all, one thing appears to be a recurring decimal. A lot of preachers have been accused of sexual sin against their flocks. The list is endless. It was done the Bishop Benson Idahosa. It was done to Reverend Chris Okotie. It was done to Prophet T.B. Joshua.

It was done to Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, to mention a few. In recent times Pastor Suleman Johnson got the knocks. And now it is Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo. One thing however is constant.

All these men mentioned here up till Suleman Johnson ended up greater than they ever were. So my word to the young preacher Fatoyinbo is, be of good cheer and welcome to the hall of famed men of God.

Mr Keshi a public analyst wrote in from Lagos

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