Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade on Sunday turned up in a special electric-powered golf kart for the second Carnival Calabar 2017 dry run.

Gov. Ayade who drove himself from his residence to 11-11 roundabout, the point for the flag-off at about 3pm joined the Deputy Governor, Prof. Ivara Esu, Former first lady, Mrs. Onari Duke, Sen. Florence Ita-Giwa, Mr. Ikechi Uko and other dignitaries to declare the second dry run open.

“I am trying to articulate a new story that the carnival is not just about dance and costumes. It is actually an interpretation of the theme as we are adding value to Africa,” Ayade said.

According to him, the theme of the carnival was chosen in recognition of the plights of Africans who were forced to migrate out of the continent in search of greener pasture, food and help.

“Not too long ago, we lost about 20 Nigerians who died in the Mediterranean Sea while crossing to Europe in search of greener pasture.

”The excessive migration of young people out of African in search of greener pasture in Europe and America has caused us the death of many
young people.

”The Calabar carnival uses that opportunity to expose the risk incident of such migration. Africans must understand that the carnival is not all about the street dance, but the interpretation of the theme. This theme is very critical. I wonder why the entire world will not focus on Calabar this year.

The governor said that the activities of the various carnival bands will be focused on the interpretation of the theme by way of creating awareness for the intending migrants.

“Africa will learn a lesson from this dry run that indeed we are not playing, but telling the true story of Africa, our heritage, culture and values.

“I use this opportunity to invite everyone around the globe to be in the Calabar Carnival, which is now the second most popular carnival in the world’’, he said.

His deputy, Professor Ivara Esu who flagged off the dry run said that it is expected that the third will be bigger and said the theme for this year’s edition was really for Africa.

Earlier, Mr Gabe Onah, Chairman of Calabar Carnival Commission, said that the carnival was an annual robust event with diverse activities.

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