CAN Fumes Over FIRS’ Offensive Easter Post, Demands Apology

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asserted that it is offended by the message of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in celebration of this year’s Easter. 

Africa Today News, New York reports that FIRS had posted the Easter message on its social media platforms, sharing a point of sales (PoS) machine, and wrote, “Jesus paid your debt, not your taxes”.

However, CAN said the copy is offensive to the Christian faithful and wants the FIRS to apologise.

“This year, a public institution, which should be the bastion of exemplary conduct, has been implicated in disseminating content that is widely regarded as offensive and derogatory to the Christian faith,” CAN’s National Director, National Issues and Social Welfare Abimbola Ayuba said in a Tuesday statement.

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“Such messages not only threaten the delicate fabric of our national unity but also undermine the efforts of countless Nigerians working towards fostering mutual respect among diverse religious groups.”

“In light of recent events, we call upon the management of the FIRS to retract the message and offer a public apology for the distress caused,” CAN said.

Meanwhile, FIRS has apologized to Christians over its Easter message which has stirred controversy among adherents of the faith.

While the post was later deleted, FIRS has now apologised for the move.

“We wish to offer our unreserved apologies for this misinterpretation,” the agency said in a late Tuesday statement by the Special Adviser (Media) to the FIRS Chairman.

But the agency said it “did not put out the flier purposively to denigrate Jesus Christ or detract from the huge sacrifice He made for humanity”.

“The unintended meaning/insinuation being read into the post was not what we were out to communicate as an agency,” the statement read.

“FIRS, as a responsible agency, has no religion and will not bring down any religion or offend the sensibilities of adherents of various faiths in the country. Our goal is to assess, collect, and account for revenue for the wellbeing of the Federation,” FIRS said.

“We believe it is an investment in the progress of the country when citizens pay their taxes. Once again, we wish to apologise to CAN and Christians who felt offended at the unintended consequence of our message on Easter Sunday.

Africa Today News, New York

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