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Governor Otu Unveils 2024 Calabar Carnival Theme, Says It’s An Asset To Tourism

The Cross River State Governor Sen. Bassey Otu has unveiled the 2024 Calabar Carnival Theme, describing it as an asset to Nigeria’s tourism industry.

The Governor stated this at the unveiling of the 2024 Carnival theme tagged “Our shared prosperity” held at the Pearl Hall of Transcorp Hotel, Calabar.

The Carnival which is held on the 27th of December every year is part of the 32-day Christmas festival in Cross River State that has become an international tourism brand since the year 2005.

Otu performed the ceremony alongside his Kwara State counterpart, Alhaji AbdulRaham AbdulRazaq, represented by his Deputy, Kayode Alabi as well as the first daughter of President Bola Tinubu, Dr. Mujidat Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, jointly unveiled the theme amidst pomp and pageantry.

Speaking at the event, he expressed his delight that over the years, the Carnival has become a tool for social re-engineering, arts renaissance, and economic growth.

“The activities of the Carnival Calabar and Christmas Festival are tangible assets that have given the State global acclaim as a prime tourism destination in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.”

He described the unveiling ceremony as more than just the beginning of preparations for the Carnival, but also a symbolic unbundling of the various shades of spectacles that await tourists and fun-seekers during the 32-day, action-packed festivities known as the Carnival Calabar and Festival.

He said his administration acknowledges the value of security of life and property and no stone will be left unturned in making Cross River State a safe haven for residents and potential investors wishing to berth tourism-related investments in the State.

He maintained that the carnival would not have grown in leaps and bounds without the untiring efforts of the competing and non-competing bands.

“Their leadership quality, creativity, and other forms of sterling virtues have contributed in no small measure to create some exciting content for television viewership and  sponsors.”

Former Minister for Tourism in Nigeria, High Chief Edem Duke commended Governor Otu for bringing back vigor into the Carnival within a few months in office.

Duke, who is also the leader of Calas Vegas Band that won the first prize for the overall best competing band in the 2023 edition of the festival, also called on the federal government to adopt Carnival Calabar as a federal tourism project that fits the marketing bill, and branding of the country’s image.

The Chairman of the Carnival Commission, Mr. Gabe Unah disclosed that the State Carnival Commission has secured a partnership with the European Cultural Center, adding that carnival globally is marketed through channels.

Also speaking, the Special Adviser of Events Management to the Governor, Mr. Effiong Ekpenyong said “Arising from last year’s edition, we are upbeat that the theme for 2024 Carnival Carnival will generate even greater momentum and galvanize much greater excitement from different stakeholders involved in the management of the yearly festival.”

“Today marks an early start which is aimed at content projection, financial planning, marketing promotions, as well as along production. With the unveiling of the theme for this year’s edition coming barely three months after the last edition, it is an attestation to the organizers’ unrelenting desire to make an early start towards increasing revelers’ participation in Africa’s biggest street party.”