The Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Cross River Command, has assured Calabar residents and tourists planning to attend the annual Carnival Calabar of adequate security during and after the festival.
The Commissioner of Police, Cross River State, CP Gyogon Augustine Grimah, gave this assurance on Monday during a World Press Conference in Calabar.
The Commissioner of Police, CP Gyogon Augustine Grimah, represented by Deputy PPRO, DSP Igri Ewa, said that security is a holistic issue that involves all citizens, adding that the command is working assiduously to ensure peace and unity in the state.
“In this 21st century, modern policing entails citizens; the police will do their part, which is what the command is doing. That is why the synergy from the commissioner of police is what is producing positive results for the state because we synergise with community leaders, youth leaders, traditional rulers, and then all citizens are being encouraged to form vigilante groups in their locality.
He noted that all the security agencies are working in synergy to achieve this goal and urged residents in the state to always report all forms of suspicious movements around them to any security agency in the state for prompt action.
On his part, State Security Adviser South, Rtd. Commander Patrick Odiong confirmed that security is in top gear, reiterating that there’s a good working relationship between all the security agencies in the state.
Reeling out the Carnival Calabar activities, Executive Secretary, Cross River Carnival Commission, Mr Austin Cobham, maintained that Carnival Calabar 2023 is going to be an opportunity to set a new record and set a mark to actually prove to the world that the carnival has been running for twenty years already, except for the two years that were lost to COVID-19.
“Based on the mandate of the governor, we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that we have the most itch-free carnival ever recorded, he said.
According to him, “Our hit period is December 26th, and we are expecting 26 states so far in confirmation to partake in our cultural parade with 18 LGAs of the state in attendance.
“On the 27th of December, we will be having the children’s carnival come back after 10 years.
Every government has a driving force. Critically, the last government saw the children’s carnival content as not being child-friendly, so many visiting parents and companies pulled out of the carnival because their bias was children, and so the new government said, Can we now bring back this carnival with proper censorship of its content?
“The children’s carnival will be 100% censored. Any DJ who plays out-of-order music for children will be arrested and charged with child rights. That is why it sparks our confidence that we are going to have the best child show ever recorded in Cross River State.
“The mother carnival is on the 28th of December, and it’s going to absorb the international aspect and everything about the carnival. On the 29th of December, the Bikers Carnival will be held, and on the 30th of December, we will have a street party in the Marian stretch, he explained.
Cobham revealed that the government is working out modalities to ensure that the state-owned airline sleeps in Calabar and wakes in Calabar from December 1st to avoid the issue of cancellation of flights or non-availability of flights throughout the festivity period.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Information, Erasmus Ekpang, averred that Cross River State is ready for the Season of Sweetness Calabar Festival, stressing that the security situation is in top shape.
“The security officials are ready; our tourism offerings are fully rebranded. Let me specially invite you all to savour the best of Cross River State hospitality.
“Under my watch as the Chief Image Maker of the State, my team and I are pursuing a robust rebranding programme under the Peoples First Mantra of Governor Otu targeted at restoring Cross River State to the best destinations for business and leisure, he stated.
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