Ayade kicks off Carnival Calabar 2022
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River kicked off the first dry run for the 2022 Carnival Calabar, on Sunday, with the theme ‘Agro-Industrialisation’.
The event marked the return of the Carnival since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020.
Speaking about the theme, Ayade said it was carefully chosen to send a message to the global community that Africans can depend on themselves for food.
The governor kicked against the high dependence for food by African countries on western nations in spite of the vast arable land God has blessed the continent with.
According to him, “Today, we have great reasons to celebrate because Cross River is gathered yet again, to invent the charm that characterises creativity.
“The theme for this year is agro-industrialisation and indeed, agro-industrialisation is the way to go.
“For any nation that is committed and serious, that is the way to go. The greatest insecurity is hunger. There is no insecurity more threatening to man than the insecurity of hunger .“The war between Ukraine and Russia led to a scarcity of grains. This means that by the onset of 2023, the nation will be in big trouble.
“Therefore, I see a harbinger of scarcity, hunger and pain, grinding people to their zenith in terms of criminality and animalism.”
The Executive Secretary of the Calabar Carnival Commission, Mr Austin Cobham said the dry run was the mother of all dry runs due to the addition of two bands in the carnival, adding that the presence of the service commanders in the state indicated that Cross River was ready to host the world.
He congratulated the Ayade for expanding the carnival bands from five to seven, thereby creating avenue for more participation.
He further commended the governor for the theme, saying that it came at a time the world was going through a period of war and growing insecurities after being ravaged by COVID-19.
“The only way that the world would survive has actually proven to be agro-indistrialisation,” he said.
There were at least 4,000 participants on the 12-kilometre routes, while the seven bands that competed are, Seagull, Passion 4, Masta Blasta, Bayside, Freedom, Diamond, and Calas Vegas.
Dignitaries at the event included lawmakers from the Cross River House of Assembly; a former Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Edem Duke, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa and others.