By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
As part of the new additions to the 2016 Calabar Festival, the Cross River State government Friday in Calabar held the maiden African food festival.
An idea of former adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo on National Assembly matters, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, the food festival aims to unite all tribes in continental Africa through their respective cuisines with those in attendance singing a birthday song for the Wife of Cross River State Governor, Dr. Linda Ayade who declared the event open.
“In Calabar we have our cuisine, you go to Ibo they have their cuisine, you go to Yoruba they have their cuisine, in Hausa, they have their cuisine” said Ita-Giwa who pointed out that the idea of having all of these under one roof was sold to Governor Ben Ayade whom she said is “Open to ideas” and “He bought it” and fused it to the Calabar festival Calendar.
She lauded the participants which included the Republic of Benin and Ghana, Hausa, Ibo, Yoruba, Market Women, Cross River State among others for participating in the event and promised the event will get better as the years go by even as she hoped that all forms of distractions stop to enable the Governor focus on delivering on his mandate.
She referred to the Governor’s triumph at the Supreme Court as moving “10 years forward” instead of “10 years backwards” which would have been the case had Barrister Joe Agi won his appeal.
Agi had gone to court seeking to disqualify Ayade as Governor claiming he filed wrong dates of birth on his nomination form and was not a valid member of the People’s Democratic Party when he contested the primary election which held of December 8, 2014.
Declaring the event open, Linda said that Africa was indeed rich in tasty cuisines and averred that the event as the years roll by, will continuously unite Africans.
She lauded the organizers and sponsors and urged all present to savor the taste of the cuisines available.
Accompanied by Ita-Giwa, the Commissioner for Health, Inyang Asibong and her counterpart in Information, Rosemary Archibong, Linda was conducted round the various stands where she tasted all the foods available with each packaging a special course for her and others.
Earlier, attendees at the event held at the African Club numbering about 1000 stood on their feet and sang a birthday number for her before she left to inspect an Efik bride in her fattening room who danced to her admiration.
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