For the first time since the introduction of the Calabar Festival thirteen years ago, about five hundred power bike riders had a road show through the city of Calabar, Cross River State, southern Nigeria.
All kinds of power bikers, particularly those used by professional stunts riders, were featured by different clubs such as the Tinapa Bikers’ club, Millenials of Uyo in Akwa Ibom State, Metallic knights as well as Ride Hard club from Italy, Belgium, Lebanon, India and Egypt.
ThesSponsor of this year’s parade and President of Metallic Knights Motorcycle Club, Akin Ricketts said “riders have come from across the country and sub-saharan Africa to participate in our show. Safety is our watch word, while we endeavour to entertain thousands of spectators”.
“At this show, we have more women as promised and some children in company of their parents here. Like I said, it is safety first if not, they would not ride”, stated Ricketts.
Not wanting to be left out of this year’s show were bicycle riders, who defied the odds to perform some stunts after the power bikers moved ahead.
There were close to 200 cyclists, well kitted and riding all over the city performing stunts at strategic areas for thrilled spectators and fun seekers.
Meanwhile, Governor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade has played host to different traditional displays at the 2016 cultural parade.
The six kilometres cultural parade was attended by artists from 21 Nigerian states such as Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Abia, Benue, Delta, Edo, Nasarawa and Kaduna as well as Sokoto, Niger, Oyo, Osun and Lagos States.
Others were Ebonyi, Ekiti, Bayelsa, Imo, Plateau, Ondo, Kwara and Rivers States besides Cross River, where the 18 council areas all presented various masquerades and dancers.
The State Commissioner for Information, Mrs. Rosemary Archibong described the cultural show as “a show of unity and togetherness as Nigerians. We are happy to host 21 other States here in Calabar. They came and have celebrated this year’s theme, which is Climate Change with us”.
Archibong remarked “while we have different cultures, there are aspects of our culture and tradition, which hinges on our environment and is dear to us. We are by this theme drawing attention to the need to conserve our forest. Cross River State has the largest rain forest in Nigeria and we intend to make our environment our business.”
“The fun continues with the Green Ball and Africa’s Biggest Street party on Wednesday, while on Thursday, we will host the International carnival at the U.J.Esuene Stadium”, she added.