Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has advised parties in the alleged rape scandal involving the General Overseer of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA ), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, and Mrs. Busola Dakolo, wife of a popular music star, Timi Dakola, to sheath their swords and stop the media war in the interest of peace and the integrity of the church.
In a statement issued on Sunday by the acting General Secretary, Joseph Bade Daramola, CAN said that despite the fact that Pastor Fatoyinbo’s Church had not been an active member of CAN, the association had decided to wade into the matter with a view to resolving issues amicably.
It said that CAN was the umbrella body for every Christian and church in Nigeria, adding that Jesus Christ, as the head of the church, will not turn back anyone that comes to him and CAN also will not.
The Association noted that the ministry of the church, according to Jesus Christ, was the ministry of reconciliation, which is centered on true love and forgiveness of those who repent.
CAN said: “Since both Pastor Fatoyinbo and Mrs. Timi Dakolo are Christians, the leadership of CAN is already seeking ways to address the issues in order to heal every wound already inflicted on the parties concerned and the body of Christ in general. it is our hope that steps which will exacerbate the current damages already done will be avoided. As we seek the help of CAN elders and the holy spirit in resolving the current problem, it is our prayer that both parties will sheath their swords and stop the media war in the interest of the church and for the greater glory of God”.
The umbrella Christian body said although it strongly maintains that any proven act of rape or abuse of women was condemnable, no matter who was involved, it had resisted the temptation to jump into conclusion until the matter was properly investigated.
The association said it was concerned over the way the issue was degenerating, “to the extent that some commentators and columnists have been insulting the body of Christ in Nigeria”.
“We are seriously concerned about the disturbing situation concerning Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, the General Overseer of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA ), one of our leading pastors in the country, on whom allegations of rape has been leveled by one of our daughters, Mrs. Timi Dakolo. It is disheartening how as a result of this incident.”
It said that not being an active member of CAN did not put Fatoyinbo’s church outside the spiritual watch-care of CAN.
“We have resisted the temptation to jump into any conclusion since a body like ours will be expected to have uncovered the truth about any matter before making public statements and not base its position merely upon media reports.
” The bible states it clearly that “God demonstrates his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Roman’s 5:8,11). Having reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, God has committed to us the Ministry of reconciling the world unto himself and to one another. (2 Corinthians 5:19-21),” CAN said.