FIRS apologises over 'offensive' Easter social media post

2024-04-02 20:26:04

The Guardian

Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service (FRIS) Tuesday apologised for an Easter social media post that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said was "offensive". "As a responsible agency of government, 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...

Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service (FRIS) Tuesday apologised for an Easter social media post that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said was "offensive".

"As a responsible agency of government, 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," FIRS spokesman Dare Adekanmbi said in a statement.

"We are acutely aware that the essence of the Easter period is to celebrate this huge sacrifice."

CAN said the "Jesus paid your debts, not your taxes" line in the social media message denigrated Christianity and demanded an apology.

"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," CAN's National Director, National Issues and Social Welfare Abimbola Ayuba said in a statement.

"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."

But Adekanmbi said the message FIRS' way of reminding taxpayers of the need to prioritise payment of their taxes as a civic obligation.

He, however, acknowledged that 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," Adekanmbi said.

"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 wellbeing 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."

2024-04-02 News