Online news platform, YNaija has received news that Pastors Biodun and Modele Fatoyinbo are preparing to wrest control of the narrative around the COZA scandal and are currently shopping for journalists to interview them for an exclusive.
One of the names currently being shopped is Ifedayo ‘DaddyFreeze’ Olarinde; a Nigerian OAP who rose to infamy in Nigerian christian circles for his 2017 crusade against the religious practice of tithing. Olarinde is familiar to the church, having sparred with many of its leaders and usually in condemnation of their denomination based rituals.
“PB and his wife are saying that they have to fight back,” a source who works in the Pastor’s office and who wishes to remain anonymous said to us yesterday. “They feel abandoned by their mentors, and that there is no other way out, and they have decided to attack all the girls.
“He is also reconsidering his stepping down because there were no protests in the church yesterday, because they feel the issue is dying down. I don’t know what they plan to say when Freeze does the interview. They have not told anybody.”
This statement refers to the responses that have poured in over the last week, with Funke Felix-Adejumo, Laurie Idahosa, Poju Oyemade and Enoch Adeboye all weighing in on the current situation and Oyemade suggesting Fatoyinbo’s decision to take a leave of absence was influenced by his spiritual mentors.
There is evidence to suggest that at least subtly, Fatoyinbo isn’t waiting for an interview to try out some spin. Journalist Eromo Egbejule was the first to break the news that the first family at Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, Biodun and Modele Fatoyinbo are allegedly taking measures to discredit victims who come forward to speak about their interactions with the pastor and talk about the alleged criminal actions that were perpetrated against them.
On Sunday, unconfirmed photographs surfaced of church members posing before cardboard posters of the pastor and his wife as well as videos of young COZA members releasing videos on social media in support of the troubled pastor.
Whenever a victim comes forward, a smear campaign follows to discredit the victim alleging physical assault or rape. It happened with Timi Dakolo in 2018, and in 2019 before Busola Dakolo’s interview. There was also the unconfirmed ‘unveiling’ of YNaija’s second interviewee by self professed journalist, Kemi Olunloyo who had requested to remain anonymous, who has started what she calls an #IJCOZA investigation into the allegations against the pastor. The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) are currently investigating the allegations on their own end.
A source close to DaddyFreeze however notes that DaddyFreeze hasn’t yet left for the interview:
“They contacted him, but he hasn’t travelled yet. They haven’t gotten back to him again, since the first two calls.”
We do not know if the Fatoyinbo’s will go through with the interview, or settle on DaddyFreeze; but what is certain is that Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo is long overdue an opportunity to tell his own side of the story.