From Emma Obi (Calabar) –Governor Ben Ayade has introduced a new cultural festival in Cross River State, South-South Nigeria.The festival, named Northfest is to complete the tripod of cultural festivals in the state and to further boost tourism.
This disclosure was made at the weekend in Calabar at the occasion of the inauguration of the central planning committee of the maiden edition of the festival.
Chairman of the committee and a onetime commissioner for local government affairs in the state, Chief Peter Ojie said Northfest is for the people of the Northern Senatorial District “to climax the celebration of the new yam festival in the senatorial district”.
“Northfest is an initiative of the Governor Ben Ayade’s administration. The Southern Senatorial District has Utum Obong as an annual cultural festival, the Central has Leboku and now the birth of Notrhfest to complete the tripod”.
Ojie who was also a vice chairman of the PDP in the state said Northern Cross River is an agrarian society. “Northfest will be a celebration of the rich culture of the people” assuring that it will meet international best practices.
The festival seeks to inspire the people and to expose not just their yams, but other crops too. The chairman disclosed further that most of the rice we see in neighboring states is the rice from Cross River.
“That is why we need to give exposure to the crops and to enable the people go beyond subsistence and to bring to the fore, the agricultural, cultural and tourism potentials of the people”.
Cross River is a destination for leisure and tourism. Northfefst will complete the tripod of Destination Cross River” adding that the festival, scheduled for the last Saturday of September will involve the five local governments of Ogoja, Yala, Bekwara, Obudu and Obanliku and all their traditional institutions.
The committee chairman said the one week event which he described as a unification programme by the Ayade led administration will commence with events such as football completion, cultural displays, carnival float, wrestling competitions among several other events across the five LGAs in the zone.
He said highlights of the event will be the awards of prices to best farmer of the year, Mr and Miss Northfest, best traditional tooup among other prices to be won.
The committee has the state commissioner for information, Barr. Mrs Rosemary Arhibong, Ntufam Ekpo Okon, former PDP chairman in the state and some others as members.