By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has said that the aim of the biker’s parade and car show is to connect with the young people and create an avenue for the wealthy to spend their money in Calabar during the yuletide.
Mr. Ayade said this while speaking to news men at the sidelines of the 3rd edition of the Calabar Biker’s Festival where he and his wife rode on a red colored Crocodile and Scorpio like trike which he also explained it’s choice.
“The biker’s parade intention is to connect with young people. If you look at the audience in the Carnival, it has undergone dramatic change in the last 10 years; from the elderly to the middle age, now to the young people,” Ayade said, adding that: “If you don’t change the content of the Carnival to reflect the enthusiasm and the adrenaline pumping nature of the young people, you will be boring them.
“So we need to create an atmosphere that shows that the Governor has the wisdom of a sixty year old and the enthusiasm of a child; an old head on a young shoulder. I can afford to act like I am young, a youth and at the same time be a Governor.
“That way I am connecting and telling a story of hardwork and of course sometimes, you sit back to relax.”
On the economic importance, Mr. Ayade posited that: “The motor parade which you saw earlier is to connect all those who have deep pockets to come and spend their money in Calabar. So, there is an economic model that I am bringing in.”
He argued that the parade and his attire were all aimed at inspiring the youths.
He averred that: “The Carnival before now was procession and dance on the streets and of course now I am trying to tell the story of migration, trying to bring out the business aspect, trying to connect the youth. When you see a Governor on a bandana, with my bling bling just looking like one of them, telling you that look; this man was a Doctor at 23, professor at 32 and Governor at a very… and is performing; so I can be like you!
“To inspire them, that is the story. Just look at the crowd, this is record breaking. I have broken my own record. Last year, it was a huge success but today, I am afraid if the Carnival tomorrow will be able to carry this bikers parade that we did today.”
On his trike, Ayade maintained that: “I was trying to show the red smart energy in me; red scorpion, but if you look at the head, it is a crocodile.
“If you look at the fins it tells you that look, I am an Octopus. You can’t really tell my story, I am kledoic. I have the capacity to change at all times. If I want to be a young person, I will; as a Professor, I will; as a Senator, I will; if I want to behave like a Lawyer, I will; but more importantly, that I don’t forget my history where I come from.
“So, my bike tells the story of the blend in one person, and that is the story that you see in that. It is custom made, designed by myself and produced only to me in the entire world.
“We look forward to tomorrow’s Carnival which is going to be something else and you are going to see migration as theme which will tell a fantastic story about Africa.
“You are going to appreciate tomorrow’s story and look forward to next year’s biker’s parade now that people have been challenged, people are setting up to create wonders, everybody will be coming back to Calabar next year with his convertible car, with a special bike to grace the Calabar Carnival.”
As at press time, it remained unclear where Mr. Ayade got his trike as it looked like a customs job. However it’s two tire front wheel suggests it was custom made from either a GG Taurus or a Polaris Slingshot.
Former Governor Donald Duke who had stolen last year show with his Bat trike reappeared this year with same Aviator’s bike club while former information Commissioner, Chief Akin Ricketts led the Metallic bike club.
Earlier, Larry Koldsweat, Edward Osifu and Zack Orji had participated in the exotic car show which had over two dozen cars racing at speeds of up to 130 Kilometers per hour around the 12 kilometer Carnival route.
They were later joined by Sam Dede.
The event drew cheers from the onlooking crowd with Ayade’s trike trending on social media.
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