No fewer than four foreign countries have shown interest in participating in the 2023 Calabar Carnival festival
The four countries’ Carnival Troupes including Turkey, South Africa, Egypt and Brazil had indicated intentions to come and join the 2023 Calabar Carnival festival fixed for December this year.
This information was given during the joint World Press Briefing at Ernest Etim Bassey Press Center courtesy of Cross River State Government led by the Commissioner for Ministry of Information, Mr Erasmus Ekpang accompanied by the Special Adviser to Governor Bassey Edet Otu On Security in Southern Senatorial District, Navy Commander Patrick Odion, the State Commissioner Of Police, CP Augustine Grimah represented by the Deputy PPRO, Mr Igiri Ewa, the Special Assistant On Event Management to the Governor of the state and the Secretary of the Tourism Bureau, Mr Austin Cobham.
Mr Ekpang made a passionate appeal to the media practitioners in the state to join forces with the state government to ensure that the forthcoming Calabar Carnival festival event is monitored to be hitch-free.
The information boss also declared that his administration has maintained an open policy system with all the media practitioners in line with Governor Otu’s administration which has indicated readiness to put all needed infrastructure in the state to ensure added more value with colour to make the annual Calabar Carnival 2023 a huge success.
He also revealed that the Cross River State Executive Council has recently approved the release of #400 Million to ensure some remedial work is carried out within the City mostly along the Carnival festival routes such as Mutala Mohammed Highway up to 11-11 roundabout and Mary Slessor Road while the lighting of the City has also commenced in earnest.
Also Speaking is the Special Adviser On Security to the Governor in charge of Southern Senatorial District, Navy Commander Patrick Odion declared that they have the tenacity, capacity and ability to make the state Capital, Calabar and across the state free from crime during and after the carnival.
He also used the opportunity to share security numbers with the media professionals to ensure that they also join forces with the security personnel for prevention.
Similarly, Mr.Effiong Ekpenyong, the Special Assistant On Event Management explained that the event for the 2023 carnival will be spread out for 32 days beginning from 1st December to 1st January 2024 while the lighting of the carnival lights will be extended to the three Senatorial District.
He further explained that the theme for the 2023 carnival is “The Season of Sweetness,” and that there will be more added events such as the Musical Concerts, the more than ten years abandoned Children’s Carnival has been re-exhumed with more colours.
The Executive Secretary of Calabar Tourism Bureau, Mr Austin Cobham also disclosed that the state government is going to provide a palliative measure on Calabar Itu Road to make for smooth and easy transportation between Uyo in Akwa Ibom State including states in the South East to come and have a feeling of the carnival.
As part of the innovations of the administration of Senator Prince Bassey Edet Otu, Cobham revealed that from their experience during their participation at the Brazilian-hosted carnival, Mr Cobham remarked that this exposure has made it possible for them to now remove the idea of the segment with the participating countries but they will now be allowed to join any of the carnival bands of their choice through the process of registration.
On the fears of the ability to get a flight from Calabar after the Carnival festival, Mr Cobham assured that the era of no flight from Calabar is gone forever as the Cross River State-owned Cally Airline has been told to ensure that the Airline Park at Calabar throughout the festive period to ensure that passengers who desire to leave the state at their discretion can do so.