BY UBON EKANEM, CALABAR – About Twenty-two states of the Federation and 15 local government areas in Cross River State are participating in this year’s Calabar Cultural carnival
Among the states that are livening up the annual fiesta are: Akwa Ibom, Anambra and Benue. Others include Ebonyi, Kebbi, Lagos and Rivers States
Speaking at the event flag-off in Calabar on Thursday, the Cross River State Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu, said the yearly Carnival has become a veritable avenue to showcase the rich cultural and tourism heritage of the people of Nigeria in different forms.
In welcoming all the participants and tourists into the city of Calabar for the program me, Prof Esu said the importance of the Carnival theme “Humanity” informed Governor Ben Ayade’s decision to create the new Ministry of Humanity and Social Welfare in the State.
He assured of the State government resolve and commitment to spare no effort at promoting culture and tourism as a strong platform for increased revenue generation and employment creation in the State.
Also addressing the event participants, Chairman of Calabar Carnival Commission, Mr Gabe Onah, said the annual programme was designed to promote Nigeria’s tourism and cultural potentials.
Onah said the 2019 Carnival theme: “Humanity” was carefully chosen to show kindness and love, adding; “Today, we are here to tell the story of one Nigeria and culture as the platform of our tourism. That truly culture is the palm oil with which our tourism is eaten.
“This year, we are playing humanity and we have 22 states present out of the 26 that were expected.”
According to him, “We have been on the road in last 24 days with the flag off of the city walk and the festival village has been agog with over 10,000 fun seekers daily.
“Also, we have 15 local government areas in the state here present with their different cultural costumes to hit the streets.”
Onah explained that the Street dance for the cultural carnival would be for six (6) kilometres with three (3) adjudication points.