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NCGF urges APCON to sanction Sterling Bank over offensive Easter advert

Adeze Ojukwu

Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship(NCGF) has called for prompt disciplinary action against Sterling Bank for publishing an Easter advert, which the group described as ‘insensitive and inflammatory.’

The Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) and other groups have made similar calls on the agency to mete out disciplinary measures against the bank.

The evangelical-cum-missionary group stated this yesterday, in a statement, signed by its General Secretary, Mr. Philip Nwaegeruo.

He said the advertorial was a deliberate attack to ridicule the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the church. Christ’s resurrection is, generally, viewed as the bedrock of the Christian faith.

The statement reads:
‘The controversial advertorial, was a clear but sad comparison of the reverred resurrection of Jesus Christ, to the rising of ‘Agege bread,’ a pastry, generally ridiculed by many Lagosians, as unhygienic and poorly-baked.’

‘This vile comparison is not only, a denigration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is the true saviour of the world, but also a very callous and insensitive media publication, capable of causing disaffection in society.’

‘Clearly, the advertorial suggests, surreptitiously, that Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, is like the Agege bread, which can neither save, nor transform people, as claimed by Jesus, himself and widely believed by billions of Christians across the globe.’

‘We condemn this advert, in its entirety and consider it, as a deliberate attack on the affirmation by Jesus Christ, that he is the bread of life.’

‘We are seriously concerned about the overt and covert, impact of this message on some believers and minors, who may be confused by the subliminal advertorial, about their faith in Christ, largely, because of the far-reaching consequences of the subliminal message and pictorial.’

‘Taking cognizance of the corporate status of Sterling bank, we believe that the bank, should not have entrusted its advertising and public relations program, to an advertising agency, with little or no respect for religious sensitivities and professionalism.’

‘Therefore, without prejudice, to the public apology, offered by the bank, we urge the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) to take appropriate, disciplinary measures, against the bank, in line with, standard practices and ethics.’

‘We also call on the Advertising Practitioners Association of Nigeria (APAN) to take prompt action on this matter.’

‘NCGF has taken this position, to ensure that these measures would serve, as a deterrent to other agencies and corporate organizations.’

‘Additionally, we, will liaise, with the apex Christian body, Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) and other sister organizations, on any other appropriate step to take, to avoid a repeat of this type of odious incident.’

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