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Adopt Carnival Calabar as National Event – Ex-Minister

Former Minister of Culture and Tourism in Nigeria, High Chief Edem Duke, has urged the Federal Government to officially designate the Carnival Calabar as a national event.

Backing his plea, the ex-Tourism Minister highlighted the distinctiveness of the Calabar Festival compared to festivals in other states. He emphasized that the Calabar Festival, inaugurated in 2004 under the vision of former Cross River Governor, Mr. Donald Duke, was established to transform the state into a tourism and hospitality hub. Since its inception, the festival has been sustained and grown over the years.

This appeal was made on Sunday during the unveiling of the 2024 Calabar Carnival and Festival theme at the Pearl Ball Hall of the Transcorp Hotel in Calabar.

High Chief Edem Duke pointed to examples such as the Rio Carnival, which, despite being held outside the Brazilian capital, was embraced and celebrated by the Brazilian government.

In presenting the theme for the 2024 Calabar Festival as “Our Shared Prosperity,” Cross River State Governor, Prince Bassey Otu, underscored the significance of security for the success of tourism initiatives. He emphasized that his administration places utmost importance on ensuring the security of lives and properties.

The Governor also took a moment to acknowledge the pivotal role played by the competing and non-competing bands in the growth and success of the Carnival Calabar and festival. Their leadership qualities and creativity in crafting engaging content for television viewers were lauded as commendable efforts.

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