Wednesday, July 17, 2024

CAN demands public apology from FIRS over ‘Jesus paid your debt, not your taxes’ Easter message

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via, or, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, on Tuesday in Abuja called on the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, to retract its Easter message and offer public apology.

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

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

CAN, however, expressed concern over the FIRS message calling it “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

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“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.

NAN also reports that 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.

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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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  1. You act at the right time our CAN just follow it up. Is intentional and if allowed next year’s message or Christmas will be worst. We are also part of the country not inferior. reapect for each religion must be done.


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