By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade says the Calabar Cultural Carnival is the beginning of the unification of Nigeria as a country and continental Africa.
Ayade stated this moments ago while flagging off the 2016 edition of the Calabar Cultural Carnival which drew cultural troupes and dance groups from 22 states and the 18 local government areas of the state where he also expressed optimism that Africa will soon catch up with the western world in technology.
“Cross River State is here and at it again” Ayade said, adding that; “The Cultural festival for today is the celebration of the African culture, a kind of harmony and the high rhythm of the entire culture that constitutes the epicentre of the true black man.
“The culture we are having today is an experience and an exposé on the wealth of the African people, the unity, the harmony, the love, the charisma, the energy, the warmth, the fellowship that characterizes African fellow-progressiveness.
“Today we are gathered here to celebrate Africa. We are celebrating Africa because indeed, it is only Africans that can celebrate themselves. As the Americans take full control of technology, Africa is leading in culture and hopefully we shall catch up with technology and shall overcome.”
Governor Ayade who explained that his choice of dress for the event was due to the Bikers carnival scheduled to begin as soon as the Cultural Carnival ends, promised that; “From next year, I will come dressed in a cultural attire.”
Also, he said the dressing shows “The level of energy that we will be expecting in 2017, because Cross River State is going to reconstruct its dynamics, and tell its story, its narrative from the perspective of industrialization. Cross River State insists that it must decouple from the dependence of federal allocation.
“Cross River State believes that intellectualism is required in governance and that is why we have this catalytic combination of energy, stilt, intellect, capacity, unity, harmony, verb, vitality and all that we need to be able to plan a new Cross River State.
Cutting the tape, Ayade said he did so believing that; “Ultimately, this cultural festival is the beginning of the unification of Nigeria and indeed Africa.”
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on events management, Kennet Aklah said that 21 states had sent in their contingents with the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar sending a special troupe for the event.
Among participating states were Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Rivers, Oyo, Lagos, Osun, Ondo, Kaduna, Nassarawa, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Sokoto, Benue, Kwara, Edo, Plateau, as well as Imo.
Below are pictures from the event.