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FIRS tenders apology to CAN over provocative Easter message

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has tendered an apology to Christians and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over its provocative Easter message.

On March 31, in a now-deleted post about Easter, the FIRS wrote that “Jesus paid your debt, not your taxes”, a message which stirred condemnation among Christians.

The Christian Association of Nigeria in terse statement condemned the Easter message by FIRS, demanding an apology from the government agency.

CAN also described the message as “offensive and derogatory to the Christian faith”.

While responding to CAN’s statement, Dare Adekanmbi, special adviser, media to the FIRS, in a statement said as a responsible agency of government, the service did not put out the flier purposely to denigrate Jesus Christ or “detract from the huge sacrifice He made for humanity”.

“We are acutely aware that the essence of the Easter period is to celebrate this huge sacrifice,” he said.

“The message was our way of uniquely engaging taxpayers and to remind them of the need to prioritise payment of their taxes as a civic obligation. Yes, we would say the message ruffled feathers in some circles.

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

“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,” FIRS said.

“Our goal is to assess, collect and account for revenue for the wellbeing of the Federation. We believe it is an investment in the progress of the country when citizens pay their taxes.”

FIRS however, apologised to CAN and Christians who felt offended over the Easter message.

 

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