2022 Calabar cultural parade, a potpourri of Nigerian Cultures, says Ayade
The 2022 edition of the Calabar Cultural Parade, a major component of Carnival Calabar has been described as a potpourri of Nigerian culture.
Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade represented by his Deputy, Professor Ivara Esu made the remark while flagging off the 4 kilometre long cultural parade at the popular Millennium Park in Calabar, the capital city.
He expressed delight that the Carnival Calabar brand has continued to grow in leaps and bounds despite the two years COVID-19 setback.
According to Ayade, “I especially welcome the States that have come to participate with us in this year’s cultural carnival. This is the last carnival we will be hosting as an administration and we are delighted to have continued with this flagship event.
“In the past, we have had more states than there are today. But, to have 14 states today shows that indeed Cross River State has become a brand, which other states chose to come and celebrate peacefully the end of year”
The governor was full of praises for the participating local government areas saying, “I welcome the contingents from the 18 local government areas that have come to showcase the multifarious cultures of our people in Cross River. In fact, no matter where you come from as a Nigerian, you are bound to identify with one form of culture or the other. So, it is a potpourri of all that we need in Calabar for this annual event”
Ayade expressed gratitude to God for helping his administration keep faith with the people and the annual carnival fiesta.
He was optimistic that the tourism event would continue its steady growth on the international tourism scene.
Also speaking, the chairman of the Calabar Festival Committee,Hon. Ken Aklah described the cultural parade as “a fusion of cultures” depicting Nigeria’s unity.
Aklah said: “It is to say to the world that today you are going to see a fusion of culture. What we do through this festival of culture is to see how Nigeria can speak in unity through culture and we the contingents here, we will show Nigeria to the world.”
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the Cross River State Carnival Commission, Mr. Austin Cobham said the parade was an opportunity to present to the world the different cultural experiences in the state and country as a whole.
According to him, “it gives us joy to present to the world Cross River State greatest export, which is our culture, tradition and people. It is a total mixture of the entire culture of Nigeria as we have over 14 states participating and the entire 18 local government areas of Cross River State.”
The parade started with the Cross River State cultural centre troupe led by the couple in traditional attire mostly referred to as ‘Nwan ye Ebe Ndo’ then followed by a special dance known as ‘Ikpaya’ (presented during the coronation of the Obong of Calabar) and ‘Ubom’, an all-male traditional display dedicated to the traditional fishing festival as well as ‘Moni Nkim’ the maiden dance by the Ejagham speaking people of Ikom.
The states participating in the cultural parade include Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kogi, Kwara and Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Osun as well as Oyo.
Meanwhile, Cobham has disclosed that the best performing states would be awarded points and cash prizes, while prices would also be awarded to the best three local government areas.
He said that the criteria includes costume, dance, use of time and presentation of the theme.