Ayade predicts hunger in 2023, says Carnival Calabar will proffer solution
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has predicted severe hunger in Nigeria in 2023 if Ukraine-Russia war persists.
Ayade made the prediction on Sunday as he flagged off the first dry run for the 2022 Carnival Calabar since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, lamenting that the war between Ukraine and Russia has led to scarcity of grains and that it would worsen in the coming year.
He said the choice of theme this year was informed by the need to tackle the looming hunger.
“I see a harbinger of scarcity, hunger and pain, pushing people to their zenith in terms of criminality and animalism.
“But today, we have great reasons to celebrate because Cross River is gathered, yet again, to invent the charm that characterises creativity,” he said, adding: “The theme for this year is ‘agro-industrilisation’ and indeed, agro-industrialisation is the way to go. For any nation that is committed and serious. The greatest insecurity is hunger. There is no insecurity more threatening to man than the insecurity of hunger.”
Ayade said the theme of the carnival was carefully chosen with a view to sending a message to the global community that Africans could depend on themselves for food as he decried the high dependence for food by African countries on western nations inspite of the vast arable land God has blessed the continent with.
The governor used to occasion to reiterate his commitment to the return of power to the southern senatorial district of the state in 2023.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of Calabar Carnival Commission, Mr. Austin Cobham, described the dry run as the mother of all dry runs due the additional bands in the carnival.
Cobham congratulated Ayade for expanding the carnival bands from five to seven and creating opportunity for more participation. He disclosed that the presence of the service commanders in the state indicated that Cross River was ready to host the world.
He further commended the governor for the theme, saying that it could not have come at any other time than now that the world was going through a period of war and growing insecurity after being ravaged by COVID-19.
“The only way that the world would survive has actually proven to be agro-indistrialisation.”
There were more than 4,000 revellers on the 12-kilometre routes, attracting hundreds of spectators and the seven competing bands were: Seagull, Passion 4, Masta Blasta, Bayside, Freedom, Diamond, and Calas Vegas.