All is now calm, or so it seems. The COZA conundrum has seemingly coursed into the back burner of beer parlour, salon and boardroom discourse.
It held the nation by the throat all of last week to the point that every Tom, Dick and Harry became an emergency public affairs analyst.
In boardrooms, newsrooms and staffrooms, the agenda was COZA. Nobody considered that issues of concupiscence, salacious tales and all that crap are not issues we talk about as though it were football. For us, they are issues talked about in private corners, nightclubs and darkrooms.
The social media has switched gear. It’s no more COZA but Ruga. No, that’s not totally correct. Even the Ruga issue which Nigerians ruggedly kicked against is also going off the front pages. The federal government has, for now, suspended the divisive scheme which has put the country on a cliff hanger with tribal tempers flaring with ferocious ominosity.
So, what’s the top gist in town? Did I hear you say it’s the punches (or is it rounds of slaps) a supposed lawmaker rained on a shop attendant with the rage of Mike Tyson at an adult shop the other day? But rather than focus on the hot slaps, punches, many have been asking what the lawmaker went to do at an adult shop. Some news sites have sought to euphemise it all by saying it was an adult toy shop.
Do adults use toys? What for? Aren’t toys exclusive preserve of kids? When did adult men — for that matter — start playing with toys? What kind of adult toy did the errant Senator Elisha Abbo, Adamawa North, go to buy? Yours truly, I must admit, has no answers to these searing questions. Do you?
But it seems that again has seemingly crawled away from the front pages of dailies. Even pepper soup joints and hairdressing salons have all swept the matter under the carpet. They have moved on to other issues of state and national interest. The reason is simple. The marauding Senator who looks more like an American popstar plus his curly hair, has apologised effusively for his puerile irregularity.
Is that enough? No. Some purists, women mostly, insist apology is not enough. To them, the “boxing-happy” senator should be prosecuted for assaulting a woman in such a merciless fashion in full public glare.
Slap activists have sprung up all over the place. They are all out to ensure justice is done. How will they go about it? Will they resort to nationwide protest just as in the COZA case? Like every other curious Nigerian, I’ve grabbed a swivel revolving chair to watch with rapt attention, how this all pans out.
Enter the COZA matter. The man at the centre of it all is a ladies’ man. Tall. Handsome, plus an excellent sartorial taste to boot. A well shaven hair, beard — all of which are in the right places. In fact, in appearance, one may mistake him for a gangster, popstar or, better still, a wannabe Hollywood moviestar. And you won’t be wrong somewhat, given his garb taste.
Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, founder of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, COZA for short, is a man mired in the cesspool of quagmire. It’s a low moment for the cherubic-faced chap who, reports say, belonged to a secret cult before he found salvation in Christ.
He is caught in the web of a rape case that was not taped though, but for which he has not been able to extricate himself from or substantiate satisfactorily, whether he raped the innocent (as she then was) Busola Dakolo or not.
Only a few people are taken in by his claim that he didn’t rape his accuser, not a raper, and, in fact, raped nobody even as an unbeliever. But his seeming inglorious past betrays his stance.
His case is worsened by others that have, as though on queue, come out to make similar claims of sexual assault on them by the troubled Pastor. These allegations, though unproven, have heightened suspicion in some quarters about the veracity of Dokolo’s claims, even as some have elected to remain cautious on this rather atrocious and unhealthy romantic tale.
The accuser’s narrative of the rape gist, though bear elements of truths and half-truths, has understandably raised a raft of questions from curious minds.
According to Busola, the rape wasn’t a one-off affair. It was in series. The first one happened on a chilly morning. According to her, Pastor Fatoyinbo visited their home when her mom was away. Her sister was upstairs fast asleep. Right in the living room, claims Busola, the cleric pulled out his stray nozzle and plugged it forcefully into her tout, puny honeypot.
When the erotic show was over, Fatoyinbo, the story goes, brought a bottle of a fizzy lemon drink from his car, Krest (where on earth is that drink?) and, again, in the voice of the “rapee”, forced her to drink it all. “You should be happy that a man of God did this to you,” Fatoyinbo reportedly told Busola.
The second one, we are told, took place in an unusual spot — a car bonnet. Again, when the steamy session was over, the Pastor, according to Busola, said, “you’ll be fine. This thing is not a new thing. Men of God do this!” Really?
Busola was 16 at the time, we are told. But many have been asking curious questions since this forced copulation tale hit public space. If as claimed, Busola was a virgin when the first rape took place, why did her scream not alert, wake her sister who was upstairs sleeping? Or was she also forcefully stopped from screaming? If she did, how did she scream? Did she scream in pain, ecstasy or both? Was it a special scream for which nobody can hear no matter how close? Why did she keep mute all these years only to expose the pastor’s erotic error today? Is she out to take a pound of flesh over what we do not know? But why would a married woman, with the consent of her husband, tell such a tale without giving a thought to its damaging effect?
Certainly, there’s more to this earth-shaking revelation than what Busola has told us, or what we’ve read in the pages of newspapers, Twitter, Facebook and the likes.
Issues of concupiscence, more so allegations of rape, are delicate turfs to tread on, hence this writer, being no expert on such matters, coupled with all its sordid and lurid details, wishes not to point any finger until, perhaps, the law court, not the court of public opinion, weighs in with a fitting verdict if both parties elect to have it all settled there.
Until then, this columnist opines we tread cautiously, not to say gingerly, on this horrid tale as we watch keenly, this hot tale unfold full-scale.
Kenneth Jude is a Public Affairs Analyst and writes from Uyo, Akwa