The 2019 Carnival Calabar second dry which is also the ‘Bikers’ Carnival’ was flagged off Sunday, November 17, 2019, with a view to excite tourists along the 12 kilometres Carnival route.
Recall that the first dry run of the 2019 Carnival Calabar with the theme, “Humanity”, was held on Sunday, October 20, in Calabar.
Speaking at the second dry run flag off, the Cross River Governor, Prof Ben Ayade, called for tolerance and kindness around the world, so as to promote humanity.
Ayade, who was represented by his Deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu, said that the theme was chosen to make people see the need to be humane and to live in peace with one another.
While noting that peaceful co-existence, unity and tolerance should rule the mindset of people around the world, he urged the bands to do their best in interpreting the theme of the 2019 Carnival.
According to him, “This year’s theme is humanity; I hope that the band leaders are doing their best to give full interpretation to the theme.For us, the theme is about humanity and kindness to people.
“We should be tolerant of one another and also treat every human being as a human being, irrespective of any affiliation.If you decide to treat people badly, you too will be treated badly.
“As we come out for every celebration of the Carnival, we will continue to play our path in ensuring that the Carnival continues to grow bigger, better and bolder,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman, Calabar Carnival Commission, Mr Gabe Onah, said that the theme was also designed to reach out and touch the people towards kindness and unity.
Onah, said that Carnival Calabar has become a platform to taste how cultural events are planned in Nigeria.
In his words, “Calabar Carnival has become the best platform for cultural diplomacy. The first dry run witnessed the attendance of Bangladesh and Belize diplomats, offering partnership in power production and distribution and support for our cocoa processing.
“For the next dry run, we are expecting Vietnam to come and partner with the state in rice seedlings, to see how they can bring farmers to promote the next level for our farming.
“The dancing and display we see in the streets is a means to an end, the job behind Calabar Carnival is huge and that is why we are saying that we must begin to change as we move,” he said.
Also speaking, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Eteng Jonah-Williams, said that the Assembly will make adequate budgetary provision for the Carnival Commission to enable them organise a colourful event.
He added that the assembly was suggesting on having ‘The Cross River House of Assembly Band’, to add colour to the event.
The participants were colourfully dressed in their various bands’ costumes, while security was mounted along the routes to ensure a hitch free event.