The Igbere Cultural Carnival which was held on Saturday was the first of its kind in the hilly town of Igbere in Bende LGA, Abia State.
The event which was held at the Camp Neya Carnival Village of the former Abia State governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, saw people from all walks of life, as they were treated to a colourful display of the rich cultural heritage of Igbere.
The event which witnessed a massive turn out as groups from different communities beyond Igbere, came with their dances to grace the occasion, which was the first of its kind in the zone. The carnival attracted the crème de la crème of Igbere and political chieftains, government functionaries, serving and retired public servants.
Speaking shortly before the commencement of the event, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, whose foundation sponsored the event, said that he wanted to accomplish the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari, who said that Nigerians should go back and initiate projects, generate income from tourism, noting that carnivals all over the world generates money for the people.
“The carnivals I have seen in other places are smaller than what we are doing here, yet people go to such places to spend their money and time for recreation. This is the first of its kind here and because I never wanted it to coincide with the Calabar carnival, I decided to schedule it as a yearly event and the organizers have fixed it to hold on January 2 of every year.
“We want to ensure that next year’s event will be more structured, better organized and more prosperous. We want people from all walks of life to come and see what we are doing here n Abia State in particular, and Nigeria as a whole”, he explained.
Meanwhile, Some of the personalities who attended the event include Mrs Bennie Mordi, who represented the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, Chief Sam Nkire, an APC chieftain, Chief Emeka Nwogu, one time Minister of Labour and Productivity, former Chief Judge of Abia State, Justice Sunday Imo, Prof (Mrs) Mgbada, Chief Martin Azubuike, Chief Princewill Ukaegbu, Brigadier A.K. Ibrahim, who is in charge of Army Settlement in Ohafia, and the mother of the former governor, Chief Mrs Eunice Uzor Kalu, who participated in one of the dance troupes, and host of other personalities.
The carnival was also attended by the Hausa Community in Abia State, led by Alhaji Danjuma, who explained that they were at the carnival to identify with Kalu, who has always carried them along right from the time he was a governor till now. “Kalu has always been our friend from the time he was a governor to the extent that he appointed some of us into his cabinet,” he said.
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