FIRS Apologises Over Controversial Easter Message

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has apologised to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the general public over an Easter message that was perceived as disrespectful.

The Easter message in question, shared on the agency’s X social media platform, stated, “Jesus paid your debts, not your taxes,” generated widespread criticism for seemingly trivializing the Christian faith.

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

The FIRS’s response came through Dare Adekambi, the Special Adviser on Media to FIRS Chairman, Zacch Adedeji, who emphasised that the agency had
no intention of undermining the significance of Easter or offending the Christian community.

In a statement on Tuesday, the FIRS explained, “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.”

The agency further elaborated on its intentions, stating, “The message was our way of uniquely engaging taxpayers, to remind them of the need to prioritize 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 recognize that the intended message may have been to creatively engage taxpayers,” the FIRS said.

Recognizing the sensitivity of the matter, the FIRS offered its “unreserved apology” to those offended by the message, clarifying its stance on religion: “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.”

The statement concluded with a reiteration of the agency’s core mission: “Our goal is to assess, collect, and account for revenue for the wellbeing of the Federation. It is an investment in the country’s progress when citizens pay taxes.

“Once again, we wish to apologize to CAN and Christians who felt offended by the unintended consequence of our message on Easter Sunday,” the FIRS stated.

Source link: Leadership

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