By Jeremiah Archibong/Jonathan Ugbal
Speculations that the 2015 edition of Carnival Calabar will not hold may have been put to rest as Cross River Deputy Governor, Prof. Ivara Esu earlier today afternoon at about 1:31pm flagged off the administration’s first Dry Run, a preliminary to what the State has come to tag as “Africa’s Biggest Street Party”.
In a brief speech before cutting the ceremonial tape to signal the kick off, Esu who was flanked by the Speaker, Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. John Lebo, Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Tina Agbor, Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr. Martins Orim, Special Adviser governor’s office, Mr. Kenneth Aklah and several others, said there is much to be expected this year, promising that the event will be better than what has been witnessed over the years.
The Deputy Governor said: “This year’s carnival will be one in town, it will be excellent, and it will be ground breaking. Anybody who misses this year’s carnival has missed so much as this is just the beginning”.
He maintained that, “For those who might have doubted what will happen, this is the first dry run to show and test the various grounds. I want to assure you that this year’s carnival will be even better than we have seen in the past”.
Earlier, Gabe Onah who currently oversees the Carnival Commission as CrossRiverWatch is yet to ascertain if he was reappointed as the Chairman by incumbent Governor Benedict Ayade, disclosed that this year’s carnival will be different as the revellers performance will terminate at MCC by Mobil filling station which over the years has served as the third adjudication point which he described as the “new thinking of Senator Ben Ayade”.
He listed the new additions to include bikers show, exotic cars show at Marian extension and troops from Italy, France, Spain, Ghana and a host of other countries.
Onah, who described the dry run as “publicity”, assured Nigerians and the rest of the world that the event will hold this year.
Some onlookers who spoke to CrossRiverWatch appreciated the decision of the organizers to shift the event from Sundays to Saturday with one premising his stance on the fact that Cross Riverians are mostly Christians while another who said she prefers the dry run to be held during work days urged organizers to remain on their toes to bring unique features and costumes in order “to spice up not just the dry run but the main carnival as well”.
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