Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River says the state will include various cultural festivals celebrated by different groups in the state in its Tourism Calendar.
Ayade said this on Thursday at the Grand Finale of the Akachak Cultural Festival held at Oban community in Akamkpa Local Government Area of the state.
The governor said: “The Akachak cultural festival has grown from strength to strength over the years.
“I assure you that the State Government will continue to support the festival and others across the state as they promote the culture of the Oban people and Cross River State in general.”
Ayade, represented by his deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu, noted that the festival had attracted people of the Ejagham nation, thereby creating an identity for themselves.
He assured the people who government would support the festival to achieve its ultimate goal of uniting the people and bringing peace to the Ejagham people.
Speaking, the state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Eric Anderson, said that the culture ministry had consciously tried to develop the people’s culture beyond tourism.
According to him, the ministry will continue to support all cultural festivals that will enhance the identity of the people of the state.
In his remark, the Chairman of Akachak Festival Organising Committee, Mr Paulinus Edet, said that the people community had always been known for their rich culture, mastery of sculpture and distinct traditions.
Edet stressed the need for people to know who they are, their origin, history and tradition.
`He said that the vision of the Akachak festival was to become a melting pot of rich Ejagham culture and identity of the people spanning from Ogoja to Calabar.
The chairman of the committee said the aim of the festival was to attract national and international visitors.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two-week event featured various activities including, wrestling, cooking competition, Miss Oban Beauty Pageant and cultural dances. (NAN)