The Christian Association of Nigeria on said it had forgiven Sterling Bank and its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Abubakar Suleiman, over the provocative and demeaning Easter greeting/advertisement, in which the resurrection of Jesus Christ from death was compared to the rise of Agege bread.
Following widespread backlash, the bank had withdrawn the message and apologised to CAN through a letter dated April 20, 2022.
CAN, in a statement by its General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, said some well-meaning and highly-placed Nigerians had appealed to the Christian body to forgive the bank and its CEO in consonance with the message of Easter.
He said, “As a result of this development, CAN has resolved to forgive Sterling Bank and its Chief Executive. We always remember that ‘to err is human and to forgive is divine.’
“In taking this step, we are following the footsteps of our Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ, who asked God to forgive those who nailed Him to the cross unjustly and has taught us to forgive always”.
“We hereby call on all Christians in the country to join us in forgiving Sterling Bank and its management”.
Those who are considering stopping patronizing the bank as a result of the blunder should stop the process but instead continue doing business with the bank.
“We appeal to corporate institutions, especially the banks, to be more sensitive, considerate and professional in handling their public messages. Whatever can cause religious crises in the country should be avoided at all costs, both by the government and the business sector.
“We appreciate our youths who heeded our directive and refused to be dragged into the streets to protest against the bank as being touted in some quarters”.
“Finally, we acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of the well-meaning Nigerians who intervened in the matter”.
“May the blessings of peacemakers be their portion in Jesus’ name”.