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Gov Otu unveils 2024 Carnival Calabar theme

...describes the 20-year-old event as a national asset

The Governor of Cross River State, Prince Bassey Otu on Sunday unveiled the 2024 Carnival Calabar theme tagged “Our Shared Prosperity.”

Otu who unveiled the theme at the Pearl Ball of Transcorp Hotel, Calabar, described the 20-year-old event as an asset to Nigeria’s Tourism Industry.

The Carnival which holds on the 27 December every year is part of the 32-day Christmas festival in Cross River State which has become an international tourism brand since the year 2005.

Governor Otu who performed the ceremony alongside his Kwara State counterpart, Alhaji AbdulRaham AbdulRazaq, represented by his Deputy, Kayode Alabi as well as the first daughter of President Bola Tinubu, Dr Mujidat Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, jointly unveiled the theme amidst pomp and pageantry.

Speaking at the event, Otu expressed his delight that over the years, the Carnival has become a tool for social re-engineering, arts renaissance and economic growth.

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In his words, “The activities of the Carnival Calabar and Christmas Festival are tangible assets that have given the state global acclaim as a prime tourism destination in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The governor said that the phenomenon the yearly fiesta has become over the years leaves his administration with “no option than to make it even bigger and better.”

He described the unveiling ceremony as more than just the beginning of preparations for the Carnival, but also a symbolic unbundling of the various shades of spectacles that await tourists and fun-seekers during the 32-day, action-packed festivities known as the Carnival Calabar and Festival.

He said his administration acknowledges the value of security of life and property and no stone will be left unturned in making Cross River State a haven for residents and potential investors wishing to berth their tourism-related investments in the state.

Governor Otu maintained that the carnival would not have grown in leaps and bounds without the untiring efforts of the competing and non-competing bands.

“Their leadership quality, creativity and other forms of sterling virtues have contributed in no small measures to create some exciting content for television viewership and sponsors.”

The ceremony also had in attendance, leaders of the seven competing Carnival bands, the Director General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Folorunsho Coker who was represented at the event; the President of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, FTAN, Mr Nkereuwem Onung as well as Ikechi Uko of the Akwaba fame amongst other dignitaries within and outside the State graced the ceremony.

Former Minister for Tourism in Nigeria, High Chief Edem Duke commended Governor Otu for bringing back vigour into the Carnival within a few months in office.

Duke who is also the leader of Calasvegas Band that won the first prize for the overall best competing band in the 2023 edition of the festival, also called on the federal government to adopt Carnival Calabar as a federal tourism project that fits the marketing bill, and branding of the country’s image.

The Chairman of the Carnival Commission, Mr Gabe Unah disclosed that the state carnival commission has secured a partnership with the European Cultural Centre, adding that carnival globally is marketed through channels.

Also speaking, the Special Adviser Events Management to the Governor, Mr Effiong Ekpenyong said: “Arising from last year’s edition, we are upbeat that the theme for 2024 Carnival Carnival will generate even greater momentum and galvanise much greater excitement from different stakeholders involved in the management of the yearly festival.”

“Today marks an early start which is aimed at content projection, financial planning, marketing promotions, as well as along production. With the unveiling of the theme for this year’s edition coming barely three months after the last edition, it is an attestation to the organisers’ unrelenting desire to make an early start towards increasing revellers’ participation in Africa’s biggest street party.”

Frank Ulom
Frank Ulom
Frank Ulom is an experienced Journalist, Blogger and Writer with several years of experience. His stories are based on community development and have brought positive change across board.

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