By Magnus Effiong
Military chiefs, including Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Christopher Musa and the Chief of Defence Intelligence, Maj Gen Emmanuel Undiandeye, as well as six Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) of Cross River origin serving in different places across the country, led by AIG Zone 6 Command, Jonathan Towuru, were on ground to grace the flag off of the 2023 edition of the Carnival Calabar which kicked off, Thursday afternoon.
Other dignitaries who were also present in the event were ministers of Humanitarian Affair and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Beta Edu as well her Sports Development counterpart, Senator John Owan Enoh. Not left out were National and State Assemblies members.
Together with Gov Bassey Otu and other government functionaries, they flagged off the main Carnival fiesta amidst pomp and pageantry as five competing bands prepared to slug it out for the carnival trophy.
Speaking while flagging off the event, Gov Otu restated his resolve to ensure the effulgence of the Carnival, which many Cross Riverians believed to have gone to sleep within the past few years, was restored.
“What you are seeing unfolding today is the fulfilment of part of my campaign promise that definitely we will bring Carnival back to its glory days. We are moving to the next level of service to the people of Cross River State.
“This is just a tip of the iceberg. 2024 carnival will be bigger. We shall continue to work with our sponsors to make Carnival Calabar better so that it would sustain its rating as the biggest street party in the world,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Calavegas Band was announced winner of the 2023 Carnival event. The second place went to Passion 4 while Seagull band came third. For Children Carnival, which was renamed Junior Carnival, Passion 4 band took the first position, Seagull band was second while Calasvegas took the third.
Pillar Today also reports that prior to the kickoff of the Carnival, the Governor had earlier given award of recognition to newly elevated public servants of Cross River State origin during an event at the Transcorp hotel.
Those honoured included Senator John Owan Enoh, Dr Beta Edu, Justice Jane Inyang of Court of Appeal, Maj Gen Emmanuel Undiandeye, AIG Okon Effiong and AIG Echeng Echeng. Others were AIG Susan Horsefall (rtd), AIG Paul Ojeka, AIG Patrick Edung asnd AIG Emmanuel Effiom.
Gov Otu urged them to join hands with his government to replicate those qualities which helped in catapulting them to such enviable heights in their careers for the good of the State.