More than 20 states from across Nigeria have converged on Calabar for this year’s cultural parade in Cross River State.
Some of the states include Akwa Ibom, Abia, Anambra, Benue, Kaduna, Nassarawa, Lagos and Osun as well as Rivers, Delta, Edo and Bayelsa among others.
In a speech to flag off the event, the deputy governor of the southern Nigerian state, Professor Ivara Esu said “today is a display of cultures from across Nigeria. I appreciate the states that have come to be a part of another making of history”.
Esu, who described the carnival theme for this year, ‘humanity’, as critical to the diverse carnival offerings including; the cultural display, Bikers’ parade and Africa’s biggest street party, urged the troops to use dance to interpret the theme.
“Our carnival theme for this year is Humanity and we expect all the states including the 18 local governments areas to do justice to the theme through their performances. Humanity is a reminder for us to be humane in all we do,” Esu said.
According to him, the creation of the Ministry of Humanity with the recent swearing in of 39 commissioners in Cross River was to drive home the need for people to show kindness, tolerance, love and unity at all times.
He urged Nigerians and spectators in Africa and globally to keep faith with the State as intense tourism activities climax with Carnival Calabar on Saturday December 28.
In a brief remark, the Chairman of the Cross River State Carnival Commission, Gabe Onah, said the cultural parade signalled the beginning of the power week on the tourism calendar.
Onah hinted, “the event is to tell the story of one Nigeria. It is to tell the story of culture as the platform of our tourism. 22 out of 26 states are participating, 18 local government areas are also here and members from our communities are here withus. It is an event, which unites us a a people”.
He explained that the troupes would engage in a six kilometer road show along part of the carnival road and perform at three adjoining points on the theme, saying “at the end of the parade, prizes would be awarded to the best troupes on display. Same goes to the best three local government areas in Cross River State”.
The cultural parade continued into the night, as riders could be seen gearing up for the “Exotic cars and bikers’carnival” scheduled for Friday, December 27