Cross River State: President Buhari’s Daughter Flags Off Calabar Carnival

President Muhammadu Buharī’s daughter, Zarah, has flagged off the 2022 edition of the Calabar Carnival in Cross River State, South-South Nigeria

Zarah, who is the special guest of honour, was accompanied by the host Governor Ben Ayade and his friend, Ali Modu Sherif.

In a brief remark, Zarah dedicated the tape-cutting ceremony to God, the memory of the eight deceased persons of the Bikers’ Parade accident and the unity of Nigeria.

She said, “I flag off this carnival to the glory of God, in honour of the departed faithful Nigerians and in furtherance of the unity of our beloved country.”

Governor Ayade commended the Nigerian President for his support and approval of the 2022 Calabar Carnival which is also known as Africa’s biggest street party and Nigeria’s flagship tourism offering.

“The presence of the daughter of our President and my friend Amodu Sherif shows that indeed we are one Nigeria. Today is the day we are flagging off the carnival Calabar, the main carnival proper.

“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, he identifies with the challenge we have had particularly the incident of yesterday,” he stated.

Agro-Industrialization Theme

On the core message of the theme, the Governor explained that it was to encourage the export of finished products rather than raw materials across national and international boundaries.

“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 One thousand naira 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.“

Speaking further, Ayade said, “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 of Agro-industrialization, and that is the concept.“

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

The Carnival Calabar, which originally started five competing bands was expanded to 7 bands on the 12-kilometer route and these include Bayside, Masta Blasta, Freedom, Seagull, Passion 4, and Diamond as well as CalasVegas identified by distinct colours.

The bands are expected to interpret the theme through certain criteria such as best float, best band on the move, best storyline, and best king and queen among others.


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