Calabar Carnival: Imoke Unveils Carnival 2010 Theme

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PHOTO: L-R: MRS OBIOMA LIYEL IMOKE, CROSS RIVER STATE GOVERNOR, MR. LIYEL OMOKE; MR. ONCHE UGBADE OF FIRST BANK AND MR. HENRY AJAGBAWA OF OCEANIC AT THE UNVEILING OF THE 2010 CARNIVAL THEME.
PHOTO: L-R: MRS OBIOMA LIYEL IMOKE, CROSS RIVER STATE GOVERNOR, MR. LIYEL OMOKE; MR. ONCHE UGBADE OF FIRST BANK AND MR. HENRY AJAGBAWA OF OCEANIC AT THE UNVEILING OF THE 2010 CARNIVAL THEME.
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Calabar, June 12, (THEWILL) - Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has unveiled the 2010 Carnival theme titled "Our Strength and Resilience; the Bedrock of Our Future".

While unveiling the theme in the Main Bowl of the State Cultural Centre Complex, Calabar, Imoke said the competition for 2010 Carnival has begun as the process for identifying the appropriate theme is getting more challenging, adding that though the theme keeps changing, it is made easy for people to understand and interpret as well as easy for all to appreciate.

Imoke disclosed that he went through a tough process to arrive at the theme and that the bands have been left with a big challenge to study it and go to work immediately, adding that the best band in 2010 will be the one that entertains most while interpreting the theme and what makes Carnival Calabar different and unique is that it is in a class of its own.

Giving an insight to the theme, Imoke went memory lane, saying the strength of the nation started with the Amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 when Calabar was the first capital of the country as the turbulent period of pre-colonialism that rather divided the people united them, while resilience is built on the expectation of good things to come as Nigeria celebrates its 50 years because Cross River represents a micro entity of the Nigeria nation and the bed rock of the future is the foundation of the great height which the State will attain due to good governance.

The Governor presented copies of 2010/2012 Rules and Regulations book of Carnival Calabar to leaders of the five bands namely Seagulls, Bayside, Master Blasta, Passion Four, and Freedom, saying that as the Carnival develops there is need for it to be regulated in accordance with rules in line with the law which established the State Carnival Commission.

He noted the need to strengthen the Carnival as it has become more and more international with its first class bands.

Mrs. Elenda Osina Dokubo, Executive Secretary State Carnival Commission in a welcome remark, said in 2009 despite the State’s low finances the Carnival showed a lot of courage as it recorded many firsts as three Governors were in attendance and it was big and successful because about 1.5 million people took part in the 12 Kilometre road show.

Dokubo said it was the first time two bands tied in the first position, essay competitions, for tertiary institutions and post-primary schools had sponsors, Children Carnival had sponsors and that the commission’s assignment is to get special sponsors and evolve it into an industry, stressing that 2010 Carnival is a national affair and has thrown open the theme for all Nigerians to participate.

She disclosed that the Commission had called for submissions for 2010 theme and none of the 257 entries submitted was found qualified which prompted the Governor to come up with one based on what the State has gone through.

The Executive Secretary explained that Carnival Calabar has gone beyond a street theater as people from other States now throng Cross River to look for people to design their costumes and that while the Commission is determined to create an industry out of the Carnival, it will also check piracy.

Highlights of the ceremony included presentations of cheques to the winning bands in both the Children and Senior categories.  In the children category, Best overall Band – Seagulls received N100, 000.00, Best Interpretation of the theme Master Blaster – N100, 000.00, Best Reflection of Carnival Spirit Seagulls – N100, 000.00, Best Creative Band – Bayside – N100, 000.00 while the Best Junior King/Queen Seagulls got N500, 000.00.

In the Senior category, Best King (Kalu Ikeagu one of Nigeria’s ace actors) of Seagulls got N1 million, Band of the Year (a tie) Passion 4 and Seagulls got N5 million each, Best Interpretation of the Theme – Seagull N1, million, Best Band on the move – Bayside N1 million, Best Costume and make-up – Seagulls N1 million, Best Reflection of Carnival Spirit – Bayside N2.5 million and Best Float – Passion 4 – N1 million.

Other attractions included multi-media presentation on sights and sounds of Carnival Calabar, celebration dance and presentation of the Carnival theme 2010 – synopsis by Mrs. Clara Braide representing Mr. Gabe Onah, Chairman Cross River State Carnival Commission.

Leaders of Seagull (Senator Florence Ita-Giwa) and Passion 4 (Mrs. Chris Agibe) lauded the State Government and sponsors for the prizes and promised their full participation in the 2010 Carnival while some of the sponsors First Bank and Oceanic Bank renewed the sponsorship and participations as part of the their social responsibilities as Bournvita said its sponsorship is geared towards boosting nutrition.