CAN demands public apology from FIRS over Easter message

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has told the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to retract its Easter message and offer public apology.

The FIRS message says, “Jesus paid your debt, not your taxes.”

CAN, in a statement by its National Director, National Issues and Social Welfare, Commodore Abimbola Ayuba (td), said FIRS’ Easter message threatened Nigeria’s unity and undermined respect among diverse religious groups.

It described the message as offensive and derogatory to the Christian faith

“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.

The FIRS’ Easter message has sparked serious controversy.

In its Easter message signed by, FIRS Chairman Muhammad Nami, emphasised 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.

This has reignited debates over the role of government agencies in promoting religious harmony and respect for diverse beliefs in Nigeria.

Critics argued that while tax compliance is important, public messages should be inclusive and respectful of all religious groups to avoid fueling tensions in the country.

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

CAN 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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