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Campaigners demand arrest of Nigerian pastor accused of rape, set for court6 minutes read

The anti-rape campaigners want Police to arrest Fatoyinbo, an Abuja pastor for allegedly raping Busola Dakolo while she was a teenager

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Campaigners demand arrest of Nigerian pastor accused of rape, set for court
Photo credit: Biodun Fatoyinbo - Instagram

Nigerian anti-rape campaigners and rights activists have threatened to mobilize rape victims to institute a class action suit in court against a popular pastor in the country’s capital, Abuja who has been accused of rape by his members.

Biodun Fatoyinbo, a founder and senior pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, COZA, was on Friday accused of rape at 16, by wife of a popular musician, Busola Dakolo while she was a teenager. She is a former choir member in the church.

The campaigners said Police action is slow but police sources told News Central in Abuja on Saturday that there was no formal complaint lodged against Fatoyinbo with them except for media reports and social media posts which they had been reading, like other Nigerians.

Dakolo, in a video interview with one of Nigeria’s popular websites, said she was 16 when Fatoyinbo, then a young pastor, raped her in Ilorin, a town in northcentral Nigeria where they both grew up.

“When I was about to react, he covered my mouth and when he did he said, Busola, listen to me and you will be fine, just do what I want you to do. I didn’t struggle…” Busola said in the interview run on Friday that has now sparked outrage among Nigerians especially on the social media.

“He said, ‘be happy a man of God did this to you, disvirgined you’” said Busola who is a celebrity photographer and married to popular musician, Timi Dakolo, who himself had a few months ago accused Pastor Fatoyinbo of raping many female members of the church. “At this point he was already a pastor in Ilorin, his wife had given birth to their first child Shindara and I was in the choir.” The alleged victim said in the interview.

– Pastor denies allegations –

The Nigerian pastor who has had a growing ministry and is popular especially among youths has denied the allegations, threatening a law suit to protect the church and himself from constant harassments.

“I have never in my life raped anybody even as an unbeliever and I am absolutely innocent of this.” Fatoyinbo said in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

“Busola Dakolo, who has made this false allegation and her family, attended the church during the early start of the church in Ilorin in 1999. I never had any private interactions with her beyond my pastoral duties. Looking at her status and that of her husband, I am dumbfounded by why she would say such a thing.” The COZA pastor said in reply to the allegations.

The cleric promised that the “false criminal allegations made against me or the church” will not stand. He said “the leadership of the church and I have briefed our lawyers to commence criminal and civil actions against all individuals making such false allegations whether directly or by proxies.”

– Outrage among Nigerians –

But the revelation has got many Nigerians angry considering that a similar allegation had been made against the same pastor in 2013 by Ese Walter, another church member of COZA in the Nigerian capital.

Celebrities, bloggers, politicians and social media influencers have now joined hands with anti-rape activists calling on Pastor Fatoyinbo to step down as COZA senior pastor and allow for an independent investigation that would involve the Police. They accused church officials of “paying social media influencers millions of naira” to twist online narratives and refute the allegations on Fatoyinbo’s behalf.

Some protesters under the #ChurchTooMovement have now vowed to protest peacefully against the embattled cleric on Sunday in Abuja at the Guzape District church building of COZA.

“#PastorStepDown. Innocent or Not. Please” hashtag is also trending among those seeking an independent inquiry into the rape allegations which they have now accused Nigerian authorities of being too silent about instead of the government launching a probe to safeguard the rights of those women allegedly violated by pastor Fatoyinbo and for social good.

 “What can I say about your wife! A woman of strength, courage. We all, as women, must rise up and demand justice. I sponsored the violence against persons bill which prescribes life imprisonment for rape. Busola, you’ve got my back!” said Abike Dabiri, a former presidential adviser and Chief Executive of the, Nigerian Diaspora Commission in a message to Busola and her husband.

Despite Fatoyinbo’s denial of the rape accusations which the accused said happened twice first at her parents’ house and later at a secluded spot in Ilorin, several interest groups have vowed to mobilise a class action against the embattled cleric.

“We have more than 30 people who are ready to testify against him,” Segun Awosanya, a concerned Nigerian mobilizing for a class action suit told journalists in Lagos. “Busola’s case is just one out of the plethora of abuses that we have heard. We are ending rape culture and we are starting in the culture.” Awosanya said.

The Coalition of Public Interest Lawyers and Advocates (COPA) in a media statement late Friday by its convener, Pelumi Olajengbesi said the Police “must begin a thorough independent investigation of the allegations against Pastor Fatoyinbo given that rape is a criminal matter squarely within their purview and mandate as the law enforcement arm of the people.”

“The Nigeria Police Force are to whereupon make its findings public and proceed to prosecute the culprit, without delay, where it’s investigations turn up sufficient material for a case of rape.” The group said while stating that 24 public interests lawyers and advocates had volunteered to pursue the case pro bono on Busola’s behalf.

Many Nigerians on social media have promised a showdown with the embattled pastor in the weeks ahead “to send a strong message to rapists,” especially the rich and powerful who are “using their positions to violate weak women.”

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Business News

Power of partnerships: harnessing the strengths of other businesses to grow

Partnerships deepen ties between businesses and foster collaborations and longevity

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Power of Partnerships: Harnessing the Strength of Other Businesses to grow
Power of Partnerships: Harnessing the Strength of Other Businesses to grow. Photo source: Shutterstock

No business knows it all, just as one tree doesn’t make a forest, so it is important for businesses to come together in partnership so they can both gain. It is the most strategic way for businesses to scale their innovation and solve complex challenges. Collaborations and strategic partnerships – the keyword being strategic – are fundamental to improving business outcomes. 

Partnerships are beneficial to every business. The management team and employees will benefit from partnerships because they have the opportunity to broaden market share, relevance and increase visibility. Customers are not left out as they benefit from the strengths and offerings that the formation of partnerships produce. Employees equally get a chance to enhance their skills and have access to more developmental opportunities by being exposed to new perspectives. 

Why establish business partnerships?

Partnerships deepen ties between businesses and foster collaborations and longevity. In all, partnerships are key to improving service to customers by merging talent, expertise, technology and purpose.

Partnerships deepen ties and help businesses improve service offerings
Partnerships deepen ties and help businesses improve service offerings. Photo credit: Shutterstock

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How do you know when to form partnerships and how to create valuable partnerships? You need to identify the specific challenge that needs to be fixed. Businesses need to know what their customers want and then identify who to form an alliance with in order to provide an enhanced service.

How to establish partnerships

However, you need to be certain that your company is strong enough to form partnerships. One of the key ways of harnessing the strengths of other businesses is to lay out what each is bringing to the table and what each business is lacking either operational or otherwise and look for ways to collaborate on their individual strengths in order to grow.

Businesses looking to form partnerships must agree to work together towards a common goal. Establishing a clear goal of what the partnership aims to accomplish is key to the success of the partnership and the growth of the individual businesses involved. A good example is a partnership between Piggyvest and Landwey to facilitate ease of accessibility to land ownership for middle and low-income earners.

Meetings are important when deciding to foster a partnership
Meetings are important when deciding to foster a partnership with another organisation. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Another good example is Prospa’s partnership with Workstation. The workstation has a digital member network of distinctive people and companies to which they send helpful information – newsletters, events and press releases. Prospa has partnered with them on a few events and workshops to leverage their network of entrepreneurs in order to establish its digital banking accounts for businesses. 

Pay Attention: The modern-day handyman: how to package your business

Recently, Flutterwave partnered with Worldpay; the collaboration between the two companies will allow Worldpay merchants in Europe and the United States to accept any African payment. These are examples of strategic partnership where each of the company leveraged on the strength and market share of the other to grow. 

Effective communication is another way to build a concrete partnership. Clear communication between partners must be established. Having a series of meetings to elaborate on partnership collaboration is key so as to understand the needs of both parties and what they hope to accomplish. Open and effective channels of communication will go a long way in establishing a successful partnership and subsequent business growth.

Partnerships are also a  way for businesses to gain access to untapped market segments and resources as well as create supply chain resilience. Strategic partnerships with reputable brands can put businesses in target communities where they were struggling to enter before.

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Business News

The modern-day handyman: how to package your business

Artisans have been trivialised to the point where it is rare for a plumber or mechanic to operate in a formal and extremely professional setting.

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packaging & branding ideas for Artisans and Handymen
Packaging & branding ideas for Artisans and Handymen. Photo credit: Shutterstock.

What do you think of when you hear the term handyman? If you are thinking of carpenters, plumbers and mechanics, you are definitely right. Here in Nigeria, handymen tend to do a good job on their brand identity and so despite the fact that their services are used often, they are paid next to nothing for their work. Many consider the jobs of handymen and artisans to be informal. Artisans have been trivialised to the point where it is rare for a plumber or mechanic to operate in a formal and extremely professional setting. 

But it is not impossible. As a matter of fact, rebranding your handyman business is the perfect way to boost and create a more exciting appearance to customers, attract new clients and increase profits. So how do you repackage a handyman business? Here are five steps to consider:

Get a logo and a brand identity 

Let’s simplify this process. Start by picking out a colour you like, something vibrant and attractive. Then go-ahead to create a logo and a business card. Nothing too fancy or over the top, just enough to give your business an image that clients will never forget. Thanks to Canva, the whole process of making a logo and a business card can be done in all of twenty minutes. You just have to print out your cards and that’s it. 

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If it’s a little too difficult to piece out the logo and brand identity elements yourself, then reach out to an affordable design agency. The agency you select must demonstrate how they will create attractive brand identity elements and must show you a portfolio to confirm their track record. Replace your old work clothes with a customized overall that represents your brand. Your clients will love it and the best of all, they won’t forget it.

Build a cool Website

I know. You aren’t exactly a tech guru and that’s the reason you’re a handyman, not a software developer. I get it, but all businesses are online these days. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, it goes a long way if clients can find you on the Internet. It creates a whole new level of trust in the relationship.

Get a cool Handyman website
Get a cool Handyman website

Besides, it’s not that hard to build a Website. You can use DIY software like Wix, Disha.ng or WordPress.org. All you need to put on your Website is a list of your services, at least one compelling reason why potential customers should choose or hire you (i.e. list your training, credentials, skills, professionalism, etc.), your contact information and professional pictures detailing your past work.

Register for a digital business account

For this step, Prospa is the answer. Prospa is a business tool designed to make managing your finances, customers and employees much easier. You can create a business account in less than five minutes. With Prospa, you can easily manage your money, send out invoices to customers and auto-split your funds into sub-accounts for marketing, taxes and more. Isn’t that great? A business account is like icing on a cake, it makes ads more sauce to your packaging.

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Hire an apprentice

Engage an Apprentice to help and shadow you
Engage an Apprentice to help and shadow you

Are you getting a lot of calls from clients? You might want to consider hiring an apprentice to shadow you while you get work done. As time goes by, you could outsource some work to your qualified apprentice so you don’t have to do it all by yourself. You can start by taking a student under your wing and teaching them all about the business. Don’t forget to communicate the importance of maintaining the brand’s identity to them.

Charge appropriately

The last thing you want is getting underpaid for all your hard work or overcharging a client because that would speak to your credibility. So how do you charge your customers fairly without tearing a hole in your own pocket? 

Consider the following factors: Time – how long is the job going to take, are you going to have to travel a long distance, think about that. Skill and preparation – does this job require a high level of skill, how about how long it would take for you to prepare to get the job done? Expenses – calculate how much you would be spending in order to do a perfect job. With all these, you can determine how much you want to charge clients. You could charge them based on the time you’d spend on the job or a flat rate depending on the type of service but be sure to do the math so you are not getting underpaid.

To conclude, ensure to keep it professional. Send invoices to your clients by mail, maintain a neat and tidy appearance, try as much as possible to widen your skillset. It doesn’t hurt to learn new things, this can open you up to more client’s. Always do a good job, this way clients could spread the good word about your business. And finally, don’t fail to do a little promotion for your business, let people know you exist.

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Entertainment

Flytime Music Festival started off with a Bang

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LAGOS—Pepsi Rhythm Unplugged took over Lagos’s Eko Convention Centre on December 20, for a night of world-class performances, luxurious raging, and a charged carnival atmosphere.

The legacy concert of renowned promoters Flytime Promotions, which takes place annually in Nigeria drew thousands of attendees and featured sets from many luminaries of African and world music, including Burna Boy, Olamide, Mayorkun, Zlatan Ibile, Patoranking, Teni Makanaki, breakout Jamaican singer Koffee, and veteran American Hip-hop legend, Ma$e among others. In addition to its sold-out crowd and stacked artist lineup, the concert is also marking its 15th anniversary with a pioneering 5-day music festival.

“Pepsi Rhythm unplugged has come in leaps and bounds, setting the pace of concerts in Nigeria, and inspiring a generation of talents to come forward with their best work,” says Cecil Hammond, the CEO of Flytime Promotions. “This year, we’re offering a decade-defining week, with specially curated concerts to define the holiday season.”

Hosted by Bovi, the night launched with a charged set from DJ Obi, before openers Jeff Akoh, Tolani and B-Red carried it forward. Fireboy DML would raise the crowd, right in time for a retro-fusion performance from DJ Cuppy, complete with dancers and miming.

20-year-old breakout Jamaican singer Koffee delivered a thrilling performance, running through her hit records, before ending with an emotional vote of thanks. Teni threw in her comic bent, and DJ Neptune charted the creative history of Nigerian music, soundtracking each era with hits and dancing from an electrifying group led by Kaffy.

Dressed like royalty in flowing Agbada, veteran rapper Ma$e took everyone back a few decades, to a time when he ruled Hip-hop. Backed by nostalgia, he ran through his vast catalogue of hits. Patoranking, Zlatan and Mayorkun played high-energy sets, before Burna Boy rounded off the show with a powerful performance.

Pepsi Rhythm Unplugged is a toast to 15 years of remarkable growth and exceptional concerts by Flytime. It is the first of a

The festival organizers will host legendary R’n’B trio, BoyzIIMen on Day 2, 21st December 2019. Day 3 will welcome the hottest girl of the summer, Megan Thee Stallion to new Flytime franchise—the Alternative Concert—on 22nd December. Flytime Music Festival has also announced the Everything Savage concert, headlined by Tiwa Savage on the 23rd of December. The festival will close on Christmas Day with a headliner concert by Burna Boy!

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