Cross River State governor Ben Ayade yesterday in a grand style at the Millennium Park in Calabar, flagged off 2015 Carnival Calabar, even as he reiterated his commitment to the prosperity of Cross River youths.
Flanked by his wife Linda, his deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu and other dignitaries, Ayade promised amidst ovation from spectators to harvest and develop the potentialities of every youth in the state.
The governor also expressed satisfaction with the impressive audience at his administration’s inaugural carnival, assuring that he will take the annual festival to greater heights.
He attributed the enthusiasm and electrifying atmosphere that greeted the carnival to the warmth of Cross Riverians and recent innovations such as the Bikers’ Show, introduced by his administration.
The governor said in order to expand the frontiers of the Carnival Calabar brand, his administration decided to introduce more international content to it.
Introducing his carnival band to the audience, Ayade said, “It is the desire of my administration to take some of these girls abroad and groom them for higher responsibilities.”
“It is my strong desire that all young Cross Riverians should have an opportunity to harvest their great potentialities and prosper in life.”
The colorful carnival parade, which was conducted amidst tight security, featured several bands and groups including ‘Combusta Revixi’, all the way from Italy, among others across the globe.
Street Trade Booms As Carnival Calabar Comes To Climax
Meanwhile, the residents of Calabar have cashed in on the final day of Carnival Calabar to make brisk business, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
NAN survey in parts of the city shows that residents have converted all available spaces along the carnival routes to business arena, displaying various items.
Canopies and chairs were also set up by individuals and groups on the streets along the carnival routes where tourists and fun seekers pay a token to relax and watch the events.
Mr Sunday Akpan told NAN that he set up his business as early as 7am, adding that people had been patronising him since then, not minding that it was still early in the day.
Sunday, who came all the way from Akwa Ibom, said he had been participating in the Carnival Calabar since 2013, adding that he had made some good sales.
“I cannot tell you how much I have made this morning but I have made good money, especially from dry gin and cigarettes,’’ he said.
A food vendor, Mrs Uloma Ezike, said that she came out as early as 6am with her food and had been selling since then. (NAN)