The Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade has cancelled this year’s Calabar Carnival.
This is the coming few days after the state Commissioner for Tourism, Mr. Eric Anderson confirmed to newsmen that the annual festival would hold despite lack of preparations.
Announcing the suspension of the 2021 Carnival at State Executive Council Chamber, attended by carnival band leaders, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Eteng Jones Williams, members of the state Executive Council, local government chairman from the 18 Council areas of the state, Governor Ayade cited the health concerns arising from the outbreak of COVID-19 variant, Omicron as well as prevailing security situation as reasons for the suspension. He said he would not as a governor and leader compromise the lives and safety of the citizens for the fleeting excitement of the carnival.
Before announcing the suspension, Ayade had subjected the decision to popular votes, following which majority of the stakeholders voted for the suspension of the carnival.