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Cross River partners three Asian nations over Calabar carnival, canvasses peace

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Calabar Carnival. Photo: Hotels NG

The Cross State River Government has kicked off the first dry-run of the 2019 Carnival Calabar, securing a partnership from Bangladesh, Vietnam and Dubai Tourism to boost economic ties.

Governor Ben Ayade during the event yesterday in Calabar implored nations of the world to end strife and embrace peace.

Represented by his deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu, the governor said the theme of the carnival, “Humanity”, was chosen to draw the attention of the world to the importance of peaceful co-existence.

Urging that kindness should rule the mindset of people globally, Ayade stressed that peace could not thrive in a hostile environment.

He charged: “As we flag off the 2019 Calabar Carnival, the theme has been designed to see people as human beings and not as robots.

“We call for an end to wars and crisis all over the globe irrespective of religious, tribe or ethnic group. A human being is a human being irrespective of his/her status in the society.

“We should be kind to one another, that is the focus of this year’s carnival and we hope that the bands will try to interpret the theme in their colourful displays.”

Also speaking, the Chairman of Calabar Carnival Commission, Gabe Onah, stated that the occasion marks another cycle in the annals of the carnival, noting: “We have received two foreign embassies that are here to partner with us on the business side of the carnival.

“For the first time, we will be having three Asian countries at the Carnival Village. They are Bangladesh, Vietnam and Dubai Tourism. They have arrived at the camp and have also visited some tourist sites in the state.”

He added: “As we continue to improve on our efforts to create livelihoods for our children and unborn generations, we believe that by the time these embassies keep partnering with us, they would have taken us to the world.”

Onah said ahead of yesterday’s event, the commission had taken the carnival to Accra in Ghana and other parts of the world, noting that the festival had become the largest street party in Africa.

In his contribution, the Bangladesh High Commissioner to Nigeria, Shammed Ahsan, said he was happy to be invited for the carnival, describing Calabar as an “accommodating and friendly city that is most suited to host the carnival which has an international outlook.”

Appreciating the theme of the festival, the envoy observed: “Humanity should be something that should prevail among us as a rallying factor. Bangladesh will be attending the carnival in December for the first time.”


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