No fewer than 25 states of the federation have arrived Calabar, Cross River State for this year’s annual cultural carnival, which showcases the beauty of Nigerian culture yearly.Some of the participating states that have arrived and adorned in their beautiful attires are Imo, Nasarawa, Kogi, Osun, Ondo, Kwara and Benue, among others.
Speaking at the commencement of the event, Governor Ben Ayade said the festival is a unique African event, which tells the African story positively.
The governor, who was accompanied by his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, said the African man is an embodiment of love, empathy and sympathy, hence the festival will succinctly tell the story.
“This is a truly African event meant to showcase the African culture. Africa is the last continent to be discovered and the continent is blessed, and so why should an African leave such a blessed continent? He asked.Also speaking, Chairman of the Cross River State Carnival Commission, Gab Onah, said the event portrays the true African tradition.
“Today is significant to the extent that the theme: Africanism, is being brought alive. Our culture is in the front burner and our people are showing what they know best- love and giving.“The African man associates with anything like childbirth, funeral and shares love. 25 states have arrived out of the 29 accredited, including the 18 local government areas, as well as the host communities,” he said.He also said the event is a celebration of Christmas, as Cross River has always stood out in that regard.
A participant from Kogi State, Awakulu Sani, expressed joy for being part of the delegation from her state for the carnival.She said this year’s festival was a lot more colourful and bigger than what she experienced in the past.
Meanwhile, residents and revelers at the carnival were yesterday treated to a breathtaking showpiece by over 5,000 power bikers and 300 vintage car drivers.The bikes and cars, which came in different sizes, style and colours maneuvered their way through the 14 kilometre carnival route, while performing some breathtaking stunts amid cheers and astonishment from thousands of spectators.
The bikers’ carnival, which is in its second edition, is a spice to the cultural fiesta having been drawn bikers and drivers from America, Canada, Australia, Germany, Africa and other parts of the world.
Also participating on the programme tagged, Wonders on Wheels, were a wide range of convertibles numbering about 300 and other classic cars of the seventies.Flagging off the event at the Millennium Park Roundabout, which serves as the take off point, Ayade disclosed that the new dimension was introduced to pump the adrenaline of young people.