GOV. Ben Ayade of Cross River has cautioned intending African migrants in search of greener pasture abroad of the risk involved.
Ayade made the call on Sunday in Calabar during the inauguration of the 2017 second Carnival dry run ahead of the December event with the theme, `Migration’.
According to Ayade, the theme of the carnival was chosen in view of the plights of Africans who migrate out of Africa in search of greener pastures, food and help.
“Not too long, we lost about 20 Nigerians who died in the Mediterranean Sea while crossing to Europe in search of greener pasture.
“The excessive migration of young people out of African in search of greener pastures in Europe and America has caused us the death of many young people.
“The Calabar carnival uses that opportunity to expose the risk of such migration. Africans must understand that the carnival is not all about the street dance, but the interpretation of the theme.
“This theme is very critical. I wonder why the entire world will not focus on Calabar this year.
“ We are trying to tell the world that Africa is rich enough to be independent and our young men and women will not have to cross to foreign countries at the peril of their own lives in search of alternative sources of income,’’ Ayade said.
The governor said that the activities of the various carnival bands would be focused on the interpretation of the theme in a way of sensitising intending migrants.
“Africa will learn a lesson from this dry run that indeed we are not playing, but telling the true story of Africa, our heritage, culture and values.
“I use this opportunity to invite everyone around the globe to be in the Calabar Carnival which is now the second most popular carnival in the world,’’ he said.
Earlier, Mr Gabe Onah, Chairman of Calabar Carnival Commission, said that the carnival was an annual robust event with diverse activities.
NAN reports that the participants were beautifully dressed in different attires and adequate security were put in place on all the carnival routes.
– Nov. 20, 2016 @ 09:17 GMT /