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EASTER: CAN demands apology from FIRS over provocative message

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned the Easter message by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Easter Day and demanded that the Service tenders an apology.

The paid advert had as inscription, “Jesus paid your debt, not your taxes.”

CAN expressed concern over the FIRS message calling it “offensive and derogatory” to the Christian faith.

The National Director of Issues and Social Welfare of CAN, Mr Abimbola Ayuba in a statement said that FIRS’ Easter message threatened Nigeria’s unity and undermined respect among diverse religious groups.

“The Easter message by FIRS does not only threaten Nigeria’s delicate fabric of unity but also undermines the efforts of many Nigerians working towards fostering mutual respect among diverse religious groups

“As a nation that prides itself on religious harmony and peaceful coexistence, we are deeply concerned by the recurrence of provocative messages around religious holidays.

“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.

“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,” the statement reads.

Recall that FIRS in its Easter message signed by FIRS Chairman Muhammad Nami, stressed the need for Christians to pay their taxes as a form of religious obligation.

This draws criticism for what some perceived as insensitivity and religious bias.

However, CAN’s statement urged the FIRS to retract the message and offer a public apology for the distress caused.

The religious association also called on public and private organizations to exercise caution and consideration for the diverse religious backgrounds of Nigerian society in their communications.

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