Why 2021 Calabar Carnival Edition is suspended- Governor Ayade
For a second time in a row, Cross River State government in Nigeria has announced the suspension of the popular Calabar Carnival that attracted tourists and cultural troupes from different parts of the world to the state.
The suspension affects the 2021 edition of the carnival caused by COVID-19 outbreak even as the 2020 edition was suspended due to the pandemic prevalence in the world.
Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade, a professor who made the announcement, cited the health concerns arising from the outbreak of COVID-19 variant, Omicron, as well as the prevailing security situation as reasons for the suspension.
A press release issued on Monday by Ayade’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Christian Ita, said Ayade made the announcement at the State Executive Council meeting, attended by carnival band leaders, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Eteng Jones Williams, members of the state Executive Council and local government chairman from the 18 council areas of the state.
The statement said Ayade as governor and leader would not compromise the lives and safety of the citizens for the fleeting excitement of the carnival.
Ita’s statement stated that before announcing the suspension, Ayade had subjected the decision to popular votes, following which majority of the stakeholders voted for the suspension of the carnival.
The annual Calabar Carnival was initiated by Governor Donald Duke’s administration in 2005 as one of the foremost events to boost tourism and revenue earner for the state.