NewsFIRS Apologises To CAN, Retracts 'Offensive' Easter Message

FIRS Apologises To CAN, Retracts ‘Offensive’ Easter Message

GTBCO FOOD DRINL

April 3, (THEWILL)- The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has issued an apology to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over its Easter message.

Earlier, THEWILL reported that CAN condemned the Easter message posted on the X page of FIRS on Easter Day and called on the management of the FIRS to retract the message along with a public apology for the distress the advert caused.

The controversial message with the inscription, “Jesus Paid Your Debt, Not Your Taxes”, had sparked public outcry amongst Christians.

In a statement by the Special Adviser Media to the FIRS Chairman, Dare Adekanbi, the agency clarified that the message was not intended to disparage Jesus Christ or undermine the significance of Easter.

It said the message aimed to creatively engage taxpayers and emphasise the importance of fulfilling civic obligations, including tax payment.

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

“As a responsible agency of government, we would like to say we did not put out the flyer 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.

“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.

“The unintended meaning/insinuation being read into the post was not what we were out to communicate as an agency. Good a thing, this much is acknowledged by CAN in its statement wherein it said: “We recognise that the intended message may have been to creatively engage taxpayers…” We wish to offer our unreserved apologies for this misinterpretation.

“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 well-being of the Federation. 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.”

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