NewsTravel and tourism

Sorry, no Carnival Calabar this year!

* Cross River Assembly suspends 2020 tourism fiesta 

No thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic and #EndSARS protests that literally set Calabar on fire, the Cross State House of Assembly has suspended the 2020 Calabar Christmas Carnival and other related activities.

The suspension of the annual Carnival was contained in a resolution adopted by the House following a motion moved by the House Leader, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey.

Hon. Peter Odey, Majority Leader, Cross River State House of Assembly

The Assembly wants the annual Christmas Carnival suspended due to the destruction and looting of infrastructure following the #ENDSARS protest as well as the COVID 19 pandemic currently ravaging the world adding that Government should rather address pressing issues like the rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure and security in the state

The House also decried the wanton destruction of infrastructures across the state during the recent #EndSars protest where most of the Carnival events are normally held.

Speaking, the House Leader, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey, representing Ogoja State Constituency, said though the Carnival Calabar is an international event, which attracts people from all over the world with economic benefits, it was practically impossible to host it this year especially because the venue for some of the activities like the Calabar international conference center (CICC), Tinapa had been looted and vandalised.

Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic was not totally over, Odeh stressed that holding the carnival, which normally attracts large crowds might have devastating health implications for the state.

Deputy Speaker, Rt Hon Joseph Bassey, who supported the motion, said the COVID-19 pandemic the world over had recorded very high death toll, warning that some countries had started observing a second lockdown and it would be unwise to organise such a crowd-pulling event like the carnival at a time like this.

Hon. Joseph Bassey, Deputy Speaker, CRHA

Other members unanimously supported the motion, citing the current bad security situation in the state, the COVID-19 pandemic and the vandalisation of infrastructures as reasons to suspend the event for this year.

In his ruling, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jonah Williams, observed that all over the world, many international events had been suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing that the safety of citizens and visitors alike attending the event should be taken into consideration.

John Lebo, Speaker Cross River State House of Assembly

He called on all Cross Riverians to join forces with the government to rebuild the state back.

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