By Ike Uchechukwu
CALABAR—Cross River State governor, Professor Ben Ayade, has said this year’s Carnival Calabar, with the theme: Migration, will tell a very powerful story about Africa and ultimately end the menace migration has brought to Africa.
The governor spoke, yesterday while flagging off the 13th edition of Africa’s biggest street party, Carnival Calabar 2017, at the Millennium Park in Calabar.
He said: “We are gathered here to tell the African story ourselves and we have to put an end to migration. We are calling on the entire world gathered here to celebrate with us that Africa is so blessed and rich. Why should Africans go through such perilous routes and then end up being used as slaves and sub-humans in Libya and other parts of the world, just because they are looking for greener pastures? We must put an end to that.
“Today, our young men take risks and pass through perilous routes to seek greener pastures in Europe and America. This year’s carnival is to tell everybody that Africa is the richest continent and the future belongs to her. Africa is so blessed and there is no reason for the young men in Africa to struggle to leave the continent. We have to tell the story that the best place you can even be is in Africa.
“The festival is not just about dancing and celebrations but telling a very powerful story that ends in hope. Today, we are going to tell the story in the form of a dance procession and tell the story of migration which is the problem of Africa. America and Europe are the past today and Africa is the future. The future is Africa because it is the last continent to be discovered”, the governor said.
This year’s carnival procession has five competing bands and also a number of other bands which are non – competing including a 1,500 man delegation from Imo State which is led by the deputy speaker of the state house of assembly.
The delegation from Imo State is participating as part of the Memorandum of Understanding which was recently signed between the government of Cross River and Imo State.