Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has called on Africans to be united in order to help the continent assume rightful position in the world.
Speaking during the flag-off of the first dry run of the 2018 Carnival Calabar on Sunday, Ayade, who was represented by his Deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu, said that this year’s celebration marks the 14th anniversary of the carnival.
The governor, who disclosed that the theme of the 2018 Carnival is Africanism, described the carnival as ‘the largest street party in Africa.
He said that the time has come for Africans to show unity among themselves and the commitment to be respected by other nations of the world.
The carnival, according to him, has over the years promoted talent and creativity, while at the same time uniting the people of Cross River and Nigeria in general.
“Today, we are flagging off the 14th annual Carnival Calabar, the largest street party ever; the greatest show in Africa.
“So much has been done to showcase what the theme is all about. The time has come for Africa to be of age where the black man is seen as a symbol of integrity.
“If Africans can get themselves together and shun fraud, drug peddling and other forms of heinous crimes and vices, we will assume our position and compete favourably with other colours in the world.
“All we need to do is to change our attitude and believe in ourselves. We hope that the bands will take time to espouse the theme and tell the story of Africa and the need to respect our continent,” he said.