AT the 2011 edition of the Abuja carnival held last week, revellers and fun seekers let down their hair in style as the various state floats passed by with drums and sound system blaring popular tunes.
In tune with the security situation in the country, especially the host city, Abuja, the security agencies did not want to leave things to chances as they were visible in all the carnival routes and the Eagle square
The carnival got off to a peaceful start on Saturday, with almost all the states of the federation including Abuja taking part in the street carnival.
The street carnival was more or less a street party that portray extreme creativity in costumes, floats and dance steps complemented by contemporary music.
The street carnival was a delight to behold as various states tried to out do one another. Kano state float offered spectators something to cheer about, just as Akwa Ibom and Edo state.
The float s ended up at the Eagle square later in the day where the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, and the Minister of culture and Tourism, Edem Duke , were on ground with other government functionaries to savour the best of the country’s culture.
No wonder, the Vice president, having seen the potentials the culture and tourism sectors have, said that the government is will to create the enabling environment for the sector to grow.
Namadi Sambo disclosed that the private sector will be important to the transformation of the industry, thereby urging the private sector to invest in the culture and tourism industry.
To back the Vice President, the minister of culture and tourism, Edem Duke said the sector is the biggest economic sector to invest in today as the sector has employed more people than any other sector.
Edem Duke said the sector has a very low entry barrier and can create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in the country.
He added that the sector will be attracting more than one billion jobs next year in the world “I believe if we unleash the potential of our tourism and culture the world will be amazed.
With the absence of durbar at the carnival last year, participants and tourists were delighted to troop out for the event at the polo club and they were not disappointed with the performance of the well decorated mounted horses.
This event that has become an integral part of the carnival ,remains a social manifestation of certain aspects of the country’s cultural heritage especially the way it signifies the development of political institutions, capacity for handicraft production and the skills of breeding, riding and maintaining horses.
Arrays of masquerades were on parade on the day set aside for them to come out. And they came in different costumes, some beautiful, some dreadful and some exoteric.
Those masquerades that are repositories of all that is held secret, mysterious, magical, and super natural were on parade with different dance steps.
For those who had the opportunity of seeing the masquerades live in Abuja, they had opportunity of seeing the Dodos of some North Central ethnic groups, the Egungun of the Yorubas, the Ekpe/Ekpo of the Efiks/Ibibios.The Egwugwu of the Igbos stocks, the Alagba and Igblegbe of the Niger Delta stock.
The icing on the cake was the command performance at the Nicon Luxury hotel which had a lot of foreigners in the country i9n attendance.
Some selected states troupes from Nasarawa, Benue were joined by troupes from India, Egypt and Trinidad and Tobago