FIRS bows to pressure, apologises for controversial Easter message

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has apologised to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the public over its derogatory Easter message.

Recall that FIRS had shared a post on its X handle, stating: “Jesus paid your debts, not your taxes”.

This immediately generated widespread criticism for seemingly trivializing the Christian faith and the essence of Easter.

The controversy necessitated CAN to demand a public apology, highlighting that the message was in poor taste and offensive to Christian doctrines.

CAN said: “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. We also urge President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Minister of Finance, Wale Edun and the Department of State Security Service to take cognizance of this incident and to guide the FIRS in adhering to communication strategies that promote respect, unity, and cohesion.

“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.

In a response by Dare Adekambi, Special Adviser on Media to FIRS Chairman, Zacch Adedeji, the service emphasised that the agency had no intention of undermining the significance of Easter or offending the Christian community.

The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a statement by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) about a flier posted on our social media platforms with the headline ‘Jesus paid your debts, not your taxes.’

“As a responsible government agency, we would like to say we did not put out the flier purposely to denigrate Jesus Christ or detract from the huge sacrifice He made for humanity.”

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