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Easter advert: CAN calls for sack of Sterling Bank CEO, management

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The last seems to have not been heard of the controversial Easter advert by Sterling Bank as the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has demanded the sack of the Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Abubakar Suleiman, over the incident.

This was made known on Wednesday in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of CAN, Joseph Daramola, where she said that the advert which compares the resurrection of Jesus Christ with the rising of Agege bread, was ‘wicked and insensitive’ towards Christians.

Sterling Bank has been facing a lot of backlash after the financial institution published the controversial Easter advert even after apologising with another message asking for forgiveness.

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The statement from CAN partly reads, “The attention of the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria has been drawn to an ungodly, wicked, insensitive and deliberately provocative advertisement of Sterling Bank, comparing the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ to ‘Agege Bread’ amidst the Easter celebration.

“In case the management of the Sterling Bank is not aware, the resurrection of Jesus witnesses to the immense power of God Himself. To believe in the resurrection is to believe in God. If God exists, and if He created the universe and has power over it, then He has power to raise the dead. If He does not have such power, He is not worthy of our faith and worship.

“Only He who created life can resurrect it after death, only He can reverse the mystery that is death itself, and only He can remove the sting and gain the victory over the grave (1 Corinthians 15:54–55). In resurrecting Jesus from the grave, God reminds us of His absolute sovereignty over life and death.”

CAN advised Christians to be wary of the banks they patronise, insisting that Suleiman and the Management of the bank showed “hostility and hatred” for the Christian faith.

It further stated, “The purported apology did not come from a penitent heart. How can someone in his right mind describe the risen Christ as a loaf of bread? That is insulting, ridiculous and a mockery of Jesus Christ. We advise Christians to be wary of the banks and other financial institutions they are patronising.

“We learnt that the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria has reportedly intervened in the matter with a view to impose some sanctions against Sterling Bank. The Christian Association of Nigeria is waiting for the decision of the organisation.

“However, in the interim, we call for the immediate removal of the Chief Executive of Sterling Bank; Mr. Abubakar Suleiman with his Management whose actions have clearly shown their hostility and hatred for the Christian faith.’’

In case you missed it

  • Recall that a few days ago, Nairametrics had reported that Sterling bank deleted amid swelling outrage by mostly Christians and apologised to members of the public for the provocative Easter advert which was heavily criticized by many social media users over the humiliating comparison of the resurrection of Jesus Christ with the rising of Agege bread.
  • The bank subsequently uploaded another copy of an opened tomb significant of Christ’s departure from the grave and added the caption, ‘…let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.
  • Also, the apex regulatory body in the country’s advertising industry, the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) had said that it would sanction Sterling Bank Plc over the Easter advert describing it as offensive and provocative.
  • APCON who described the advertisement as distasteful, also said the advert copy was not submitted for approval before it was made public