The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN has reacted to an Easter advert by Sterling Bank Plc to its Christian customers.
An advert by the bank, with the copy text “Like Agege Bread, He Rose Again” had attracted the outrage of Nigerians who queried the rationale behind the advert.
In reaction to the advert, the Christian body, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Joseph Bade Daramola, called for the removal of the CEO of the bank, Abubakar Suleiman for expressing ‘hostility and hatred’ of the Christian Faith.
The statement reads, “The attention of the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has been drawn to an ungodly, wicked, insensitive and deliberately provocative advertisement of the 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.
“The purported apology did not come from a penitent heart. How can someone in his right mind described the risen Christ as a loaf of bread. That is insulting, ridiculous and a mockery of Jesus Christ. We advised Christians to be wary of the banks and other financial institutions they are patronising.
“We learnt that the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has reportedly intervened in the matter with a view to impose some sanctions against Sterling Bank. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) 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.”