Pomp And Colours As Ayade, President's Daughter, Others Flag Off Carnival Calabar



Amid pomp and pageantry, the annual Carnival Calabar, the largest street party in Africa, was Wednesday flagged off in the Cross River state capital.


The theme of this year's edition of the fiesta which attracted dignitaries across the country, including President Muhammadu Buhari's daughter, Zara and former Borno state Governor, Senator Amodu Sherrif,  is "Agro-industrialization".


Speaking while flagging off the carnival, the state governor, Professor Ben Ayade described it as "Africa's flagship tourism event"



Said the governor: "The presence of the daughter of our President and my friend Amodu Sheriff shows that indeed we are one Nigeria. Today is the day we are flagging off the carnival Calabar, the main carnival proper.This carnival is Africa's flagship tourism event.


"I like to welcome everybody, who has come here for this ceremony. It is significant because this is my last outing; significant because the President has said he identifies with Cross River State"


The Cross River state number one citizen explained that the theme of the 2022 carnival Calabar was carefully chosen to enable Africans understand the import of Agro-industrialization and the processing of agro products.


"The theme of this year's carnival is agro-industrialization and what I am saying is, why take a tuber of cassava and process into garri to make #1000 only when someone else takes the same tuber of cassava and processes it into pharmaceutical starch and makes 10,000 US Dollars?







"What I am simply saying is that the time has come when Africans must put an end to this primitive way of processing agro-products.


"The true value of any raw material is when it is processed and that means the value addition taking it to its end product," stated the governor", Ayade said



Speaking further, the governor maintained that "Africa cannot continue to be a hub for the export of raw materials. Africa should start processing her raw materials to finished products and export to Europe and America. That is the core message of this theme.


"So, what we are expecting to see today is the interpretation of the theme during the float as we watch the revelers on the path.


"We will be looking at the storyline through the dance and procession on the interpretation of the theme Agro-industrialization; and that is the concept," he stressed.



He urged spectators to enjoy the show and assimilate the core message of the theme to become productive.


"So, being my last carnival, I enjoin you to sit back with me and let the bands entertain us at this last, but special carnival as the president's daughter performs the tape cutting to show that the President fully identifies with this event.


Earlier, Zara who was the special guest of honour said she was participating in the flag off  "of this carnival to the glory of God, in honour of the departed faithful Nigerians and in furtherance of the unity of our beloved country."


The competing bands on the 12-kilometre carnival route include Bayside, Masta Blasta, Freedom, Seagull, Passion 4 and Diamond as well as CalasVegas.

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