Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has said the state was determined to remain not only a preferred destination but also a reference point in Nigeria’s tourism development programme.

Imoke, who spoke at the presentation of a “Glimpse of Cross River” in Lagos, to unveil the Calabar Festival, which commences November 30, lauded the erstwhile governor of the state, Mr. Donald Duke, for initiating the festival.

He said when “it started, people never thought it would get to where it is,  because they were not adequately aware of its potentials,” adding that with doggedness and political will, it has become a world acclaimed festival.

Imoke, who was flanked by his wife, Obioma, wife of Deputy Governor, Mrs. Glory Cobham, the former governor with his wife, Onari, said the status of the festival was taken to a greater height when the last administration sponsored some people to participate in the Trinidad and Tobago Festival to acquire expertise and  rudiments of internationally acclaimed carnivals.

The Governor explained that the festival is all about the life, people, culture and history of Cross River and will succeed because of the commitment of the people to make it a spectacular event, disclosing that last years Calabar Carnival was the biggest so far and with a lot of innovations in cultural theatre and entertainment industry.

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