Being labeled as something you aren’t can’t ruin you.
Being accused of something you didn’t do can too
Eight months ago, a certain Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo (of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly) was accused of sexual and spiritual manipulation. The accuser/alleged victim: an upwardly mobile young woman named Ese Walters. The salacious details of the affair were fodder for gossip blogs and a topic for heated discussion at your local watering hole.
Usually, a tale of this nature is bound to elicit emotions and reactions from all and sundry. There’s shock, denial, surprise and even disappointment. Some sour pussies will even whip up the I-told-you-so card. This WalterGate was no different. Miss Walters was called a mudslinger amongst other unprintable names. How does a grown up woman have consensual sex and then publicly accuse her partner of manipulation? Not a small number of ‘Christians’ rose up in defence of the vocally talented Pastor. Was she not an instrument that the devil was using to batter one of the fastest growing churches in Abuja?
The man himself, Pastor Biodun, was morbidly aghast.
He mounted the pulpit the next Sunday and addressed the matter
“I’m sure you read some things about me in the social network. I’ve been receiving calls from different people even big people in government… They have been advising me; ‘don’t talk, we understand’. We are going to speak but we are consulting. We’ll come out with a robust reply…..My wife and I love you”
Thus, we decided to wait and hear from Pastor B before coming to conclusions.
. . .and waited
Time went by. The Sochi Olympics came and went, Russia invaded Crimea, Nelson Mandela died and was buried and there were episodes of fuel scarcity in Nigeria. . .and still, we waited.
The next time I came across Pastor B in the news, he was receiving a brand new Rolls Royce ; a robust gift from American preacher Mike Murdock. The next time I decided to google him, he was treating Abuja denizens to a round of free Valentine’s Day shopping
Meanwhile Ese Walters found a man to put a ring on it. She got married to her friend, Benny Ark.
. . .and here I am, still waiting for Pastor B’s team to finish consultations and issue a robust reply.
Defending a pastor is not equivalent to defending God. Some individuals Pastor Biodun is human, Ese Walters is human and I am human. We often hold our religious leaders to superhuman expectations. They have become brands, almost celebrities. We have so deified them that any whisper of frailty is swiftly shot down. We need to have heroes and we can’t bear to lose them
On a side of this crooked coin, I could say: If you did it, say you did it; and if you didn’t do, say you didn’t do it. More duplicitous advice would be: Whether you did it or not, say you didn’t do it. That would settle the matter and send everyone to bed.
I can understand, but not tolerate, the quietude from Pastor B’s camp.Imagine he admits to a dalliance with Ese Walters, the reaction would be scandalous, to say the least. He will forever be known as the ‘Pastor that slept with That Girl’. He may show contrition, ask for forgiveness and even do penance; but still, our desperation for holy heroes will ensure that our views of him will be forever jaundiced. People may forget his wonderful sermons and lovely attitude, but the moment(s) of weakness will be indelible. That is the nature of human existence, we always see the blot of ink in the bowl of water. Even if he denies all the allegations, he will have to provide some serious explanation and this will provide Miss Walters with fodder for another attack.
Thus, the silence leaves us second-guessing and those who love their heroes will still have this last straw to cling on to. Those who hate him will have nothing to work with and no words to trap him with. He will be able to hide under the umbrella of forceful inaction- don’t say anything & don’t do anything- and slowly, the passage of time will paper over the cracks and we will forget and move on to the next scandalous piece of steaming gist.
Thus, let those who wait continue to wait and let those who are tired of waiting move on with their lives.