From left: Bangladesh High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. Shameen Ahsan, Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade, his deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu and Belize High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Ifeanyichuku Ifedi dancing along the streets of Calabar during the flag off of the first dry run of the 2019 Calabar carnival on Sunday

No fewer than 22 states and 15 local government areas in Cross River are participating in the 2019 cultural carnival held on Thursday in Calabar.

Some of the states include Kebbi, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Ebonyi, Lagos and Rivers.

Speaking at the flag off of the event, Mr Gabe Onah, Chairman of Calabar Carnival Commission, said the event was designed to promote Nigeria’s tourism and cultural potentials.

Onah said that the theme of the 2019 Carnival “Humanity” was carefully chosen to show kindness and love.

“Today we are here to tell the story of one Nigeria and culture as the platform of our tourism. That truly culture is the palm oil with which our tourism is eaten.

“This year, we are playing humanity and we have 22 states present out of the 26 that were expected.


“We have been on the road in last 24 days with the flag off of the city walk and the festival village has been agog with over 10,000 fun seekers daily.

“Also, we have 15 local government areas in the state here present with their different cultural costumes to hit the streets,” he said.

He added that the street dance for the cultural carnival would be for 6 kilometres with 3 adjudication points.

Earlier, while flagging off the event, Deputy Governor of the state, Prof. Ivara Esu, welcomed all the participants and tourists into the city of Calabar for the festival.

Esu said that the Carnival would be used to showcase the rich heritage of the people of Nigeria in different forms.

He stressed that it was in the importance of the Carnival theme “Humanity” that Gov. Ben Ayade created the Ministry of Humanity and Social Welfare.

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