By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, and the Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, have called for the preservation of the African heritage, saying that is the only way Africa’s story can change for good.
Ezekwesili and Ayade made the call on Friday evening, while flagging off the 2018 edition of the world’s famous Carnival Calabar.
They were in the company of other dignitaries from within and outside the state.
Tagged the biggest street party in Africa, this year’s edition of the carnival has as its theme, ‘Africanism’.
According to the ACPN Presidential candidate, “Youths from Nigeria, and Africa in general, should use the opportunity of the carnival to promote themselves and promote the African culture.
“The carnival should be used to change the world’s perception about Africa and indeed change the negative narrative about the continent and its people on the global stage because that is the true spirit of she said.
Ezekwesili also urged the youth at the carnival to choose the right leaders, “the kind that will listen to your needs and preserve the heritage of the people.”
On the other hand, Ayade said Africa remained the emerging continent, saying, “The western world was the past, the far East Asia is the present, Africa indeed is the future, therefore Africa holds a lot of promise to the world.”
He said, “Civilisation and writing, having started in Africa, has indeed repositioned Africa as the cradle of invention, knowledge and innovation. Africa must therefore take its place in the prime of things
in the world.
“You all must use the opportunity created by the processional dance and drama to tell the African story in a way that everyone will understand.”
The Cross River State governor also said that the choice of the event theme as ‘Africanism,’ went beyond Africa.
“It talks about making Africa the epicentre of the people’s relationship as well as projecting its beautiful people with diverse culture and heritage,” Ayade said.
“Africanism is saying think, act, conduct yourselves as Africans. Africa is not colour, not racism, but a spirit of the heart, goodness of heart, nice ness of character, love for fellow human beings and true love from the heart,” he added.
The governor who rhetorically asked, “Why would Africa not take the lead, drive the future or not be a leading continent,” argued that, “Africans must believe in themselves, come together and find solutions to Africa’s problems.”
Earlier, the Chairman, Cross River Carnival Commission, Mr Gabe Onah, said that Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa were among the many countries that graced the 2018 Carnival Calabar.