By Our Correspondent
Cross River State Government yesterday flagged off the 15th edition of Calabar Festival, with the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at the Millennium Park, Calabar.
Speaking at the well-attended ceremony, the state Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke who was represented by his Deputy, Mr. Efiok Cobham, disclosed that, “This year’s event which is very dear to us because it is the last in the life of this administration will be better and more colorful. We will do our best in ensuring that we give you the most memorable event.”
“It’s been 15 years of lofty presentation, of spectacles and innovation by young and vibrant youths and a veritable ground for showcasing the innate talents of our young ones, some of who have become forces to reckon with in Nigeria,” he reiterated.
He maintained that “Never before have you had what we have packaged for you this year. Once again, we have declared open a veritable platform to discover more budding artistes who will eventually become world beaters in the entertainment industry and I urge the youth to avail themselves of this memorable event to actualize their dreams.”
While commending the major sponsor First Bank Plc. for the confidence it has on the brand since its entrance seven years ago, the governor stressed that, the attendant benefits of the partnership cannot be overemphasized especially the positive impacts on youth development and economic growth of the state.
Special Adviser, Tourism Development, Mr. Wilfred Usani averred that, “For some years now the Cross River State Government has sustained the vision to stage this festival as a festival of contemporary culture that show cases the talents and abilities of our young people.”
Adding that, “This year, we intend to improve on what we have been doing for many years with better innovations because it is the high point of our tourism branding that will help stimulate the desired economy gains.”
Also speaking, Executive Director South, First Bank Plc. Mr. U E Uke who was represented by Mr. John Iyoha, attested that, “As a partner, anyone who visit this beautiful city cannot but feel at home even as they spontaneously “fall in Love” with the city and its people.”
He pointed out that, “We are pleased to be a major partner with the Cross River State Government on this Festival since inception and we are proud to have it as part of First Bank’s long term corporate responsibility and sustainability program.
Comedy thrill by Last Prophet and other home based artistes, music and dance performances and a drama sketch that chronicled the genesis of the 15 year-old Calabar Festival spiced up the event which was attended by notable dignitaries and a mammoth crowd that defied the rain to watch the lighting ceremony.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.