BY IKE UCHECHUKWU [CALABAR]
Ben Ayade , Cross River State Governor has described the Carnival Calabar as the melting point of African hospitality and the beginning of unity.
Ayade who made the disclosure on Wednesday at the Millennium Park, venue for the flag off of 2016 Carnival Calabar said it was the beginning of a new dawn and growth for Africa.
“Cross River is at it again, you are all welcome to Calabar Carnival 2016, the melting point of African Hospitality where warmth is the order of the day in the state”.
Cross River state is welcoming Africa and indeed the entire world to Calabar. I want you to recognize the fact that this Carnival is the true vitality, unity and harmony of Africa”.
Flagging off the 12th edition of the Carnival Calabar, the winner of the maiden edition of Miss Africa 2016, Miss Neurite Mendes said the Calabar has been in the eyes of the world for years for organizing the biggest street party in Africa.
Mendes, who lauded the effort of the state government in its awareness about climate change, said it was pivotal for everyone to come together in the fight and awareness.
“It is an honour to represent my country in this year’s edition of Carnival Calabar, the Carnival this year is about sustainable development in climate change.
According to Miss Climate Change Ambassador, it is important to let the world know that we can combat climate change together.
Mendes from Angola won the maiden edition of Miss Africa Climate change organized by Cross River state government in November 2016.
The theme for the 2016 Calabar carnival is `Climate Change’.
The five carnival bands – Seagull, Master Blasta, Passion 4, Freedom and Bayside were colourfully dressed in different costumes to reflect the colour of their bands. Mr Gab Onah, the Chairman of Calabar Carnival Commission, said that 13 countries were in attendance for the street party.
According to Onah, some of the countries included Brazil, Croatia, Turkey, UK, Spain, Kenya, Ghana and others.
He said that the carnival, the 12th edition in a row had united the state and Nigeria in general. “We have in Cross River today 13 countries worldwide. The attention of the world is in Cross River today.
Dignitaries at the event include, Mr Donald Duke, former Cross River governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio, former governor of Akwa Ibom, Nollywood actors and actresses, captain of industries, among others.