PHOTOS: Ayade, Bikers Thrill Residents In Calabar Carnival

PHOTOS: Ayade, Bikers Thrill Residents In Calabar Carnival
Governor Ayade and his wife, Mrs Linda Ben-Ayade on a bike


It was thrills and frills as the Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade led 250 power bikers, including former Governor Donald Duke in an acrobatic display of state of the art exotic power bikes.

The bikers’ segment of the Calabar Carnival, which took place on Wednesday afternoon, witnessed throngs of spectators who laid siege on the 12-kilometre carnival route to watch acrobatic displays.

READ ALSOAyade, Duke Lead 250 Bikers’ In Calabar Carnival

Leading the charge which took off to an ecstatic start, the revellers screamed and cheered as Governor Ayade, who was carrying his wife, Mrs Linda Ben-Ayade, and his band of riders took to the road from the Millennium Park.

See photos below;

Ayade, Duke Lead 250 Bikers’ In Calabar Carnival

Ayade, Duke Lead 250 Bikers' In Calabar Carnival
Governor Ayade and his wife, Mrs Linda Ben-Ayade on a bike


It was thrills and frills as the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, led 250 power bikers, including former governor Donald Duke in an acrobatic display of state of the art exotic power bikes.

The bikers’ segment of the Calabar Carnival, which took place on Wednesday afternoon, witnessed throngs of spectators who laid siege on the 12-kilometre carnival route to watch acrobatic displays.

PHOTOS: Ayade, Bikers Thrill Residents In Calabar Carnival

Leading the charge which took off to an ecstatic start, the revellers screamed and cheered as Governor Ayade, who was carrying his wife, Mrs Linda Ben-Ayade, and his band of riders took to the road from the Millennium Park.

“The bikers’ parade intention is to connect with young people,” the governor said. “If you look at the audience in the carnival, it has undergone dramatic change in the last 10 years – from the elderly to the middle age, now to the young people and if you don’t change the content of the carnival to reflect the enthusiasm and the adrenaline pumping nature of the young people, you will be boring to them.

“So we need to create an atmosphere that shows that the governor has the wisdom of a sixty-year-old and the enthusiasm of a child – an old head on a young shoulder; I can afford to act like I am young, a youth and at the same time be a governor”.

The Bikers’ Carnival which before today went through a series of rigorous dry runs, lived up to its billing as they pulled tons of stunts in front of the ever cheering crowd.

Governor Ayade, who noted that the carnival only feature procession and dance on the streets before now, said he was trying to carry the youths along in the affairs of the state.

Joking about his outfits, he said: ”When you see a governor on a bandana, with my bling bling just looking like one of them, I’m telling you that look, this man was a doctor at 23, professor at 32 and governor at a very… and is performing; so I can be like you!

“Just look at the crowd, this is record breaking. I have broken my own record. Last year, it was a huge success but today, I am afraid if the carnival tomorrow will be able to carry this bikers’ parade that we did today.”

On the choice of red as the colour and what led to the shape of his bike, he said he was trying to show the “red smart energy” in him and the ability to blend in to any situation.

“Red scorpion but if you look at the head, it is a crocodile; if you look at the fins it tells you that look – I am an Octopus. You can’t really tell my story, I have the capacity to change at all times. If I want to be a young person, I will; as a professor, I will; as a senator, I will; if I want to behave like a lawyer, I will; but more importantly, that I don’t forget my history.

“So, my bike tells the story of the blend in one person, and that is the story that you see in that. It is custom made, designed by myself and produced only to me in the entire world,” the governor said.

Calabar Carnival: Ita-Giwa Commends Efforts Of Cross River Govt.

ita-giwa1The only female Carnival Band Leader in West Africa, Ita Giwa, popularly referred to as, Mama Bakassi, has commended the Cross River State Government for efforts put into the just concluded Calabar Carnival.

She also stated that the emergence of her band, ‘Seagull’, as winner of the event, came as a result of the group’s hardwork.

“Such a relief, I feel good, I feel happy, I thank God, a lot of efforts, a lot of emotions, a lot of determination, some bit of desperation to it, but we won.”

She then congratulated all other participating bands for their time, talents and display of creativity.

Senator Florence Ita-Giwa gave the commendation at a street party organized by the state government for all the revellers who participated at the just concluded carnival, to unwind and have fun following tedious months of preparation before the Carnival.

“I am paying back to the society that made Ita-Giwa. By being here, I inspire these people a lot.

“I am working and i’m happy that my mind is engaged at this age which I see as a privilege from God and an opportunity given to me to engage my mind positively.”

Describing the process of the event, she said: “I think the interpretation was different, we took more time to look at details and then, we also tried to make it very real. We had what looks like almost a forest with baboons and monkeys in a normal forest environment without human being interference”.

The Band leader was further quoted to have said: “We tried to make it as real as possible and then, the revellers were better behaved, very organized and they understood their parts.

“We got revellers to understand the story from the very stage of putting the scripts together, so when you’re dancing, you know what you’re dancing to”.

Ita-Giwa then called on all Cross-Riverians to join hands and support Governor, Ben Ayade, in achieving all his lofty ideas for the state.

Ayade Lauds Nupe Kingdom For Maintaining Unique Culture

Ayade Lauds Nupe Kingdom For Maintaining Unique CultureThe Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has lauded the Etsu of Nupe, Brigadier General Yahaya Abubakar (rtd), and the entire Kingdom for maintaining their unique and distinct culture over the centuries.

The governor was speaking when he and his Edo state counterpart accompanied the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris Kpotum, to accept a chieftaincy title bestowed on the top cop by the monarch in his palace in Suleja, Niger State.

While commending the monarch for recognizing and rewarding the good and meritorous work that the IG is doing in the face of daunting national security challenges, the governor said:

“The Etsu of Nupe and the people of his kingdom stand out as a people who cherish and adore their culture and tradition and have managed to sustain the legacy to an appreciable period of time.

“I want to use this opportunity to invite the people of the kingdom and the other guests who came to solidarize with the IG to endeavor to attend the Calabar carnival and savor the legendary warmth and hospitality of Cross River State”. Ayade said.

“My administration has put everything in place to ensure that all visitors to the state during the carnival period not only enjoy their holidays in a peaceful ambiance but will also leave with memories that would linger for a lifetime,” he added.

He was accompanied to the event by the Chairman of the New Cities Development Board, Mr KJ Agba.

Uninterrupted Power Supply: Ayade Sets 2017 Deadline

Uninterrupted Power Supply: Ayade Sets 2017 DeadlineThe Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has set February 2017 as deadline to deliver on a 21 megawatts Calabar power plant, as part of his determination to ensure that the Calabar metropolis has 24/7 uninterrupted power supply.

Speaking during his routine inspection of the ongoing construction work at the site along the Parliamentary Extension in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital, Ayade explained that the power plant is a new technology which is cost effective.

Uninterrupted Power Supply: Ayade Sets 2017 Deadline
construction site for power plant

Excited about the level of work done so far, Ayade said: “as you can see, there is massive construction work going on here at the site, we are putting the structural base for the installation of the 21 megawatt power turbines that have already been delivered on site.

“We have set February 17, 2017 as deadline to deliver uninterrupted 24/7 power supply to Calabar metropolis. With this singular effort, Calabar will be the first capital city to have uninterrupted power supply in the country”.

Speaking further he said, “the good thing is that this is the product and manifestation of the several Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), I had signed early last year and today, we are at the construction stage to deliver on this all important project.


“As you can see, there is so much energy as several young men are already
engaged and we are making plans to engage some of them permanently as maintenance staff after the construction.”

Ayade then revealed that the project was a Public Private Partnership (PPP) as the state was working in partnership with a Brazilian/American firm, which is also collaborating with the Cross River State Power Company “to establish and deliver on this world class independent embedded power plant here in Calabar.”

Offering further insight, the governor stated that he would ensure that “no contractor is paid until he meets the mile stones set.

“So, if you bring me an IPC, I must check to ensure that you have delivered as declared by the agencies concerned before you receive your payment.

“Secondly, I am driven by the passion and determination, which is why I am always on site instead of sitting in the office. This is rather very alien to me and that is why I am on site daily to ensure that we catch the pace because money is scarce, every little kobo will be accounted for.”

He expressed excitement that work is being done according to specification and approved designs.

Ayade assured residents that the state had concluded arrangement with Lilleker and Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, to ensure uninterrupted power supply especially during the annual Calabar Carnival.

“In line with this effort, the state has provided 88 new transformers across the city centre for improved power supply to ensure that all parts of Calabar are lit during the yuletide.

He then used the opportunity to invite Nigerians to the festival.

“Let me use this opportunity to invite every Nigerian to stop searching for scarce dollars for overseas trips and come to Calabar for the festival and Carnival.

“We have everything you are looking for, hospitality, love, good treatment, everything you can think of is here in Calabar,” the governor said.

Calabar Carnival: Governor Ayade Leads Bikers’ Dry Run

calabar carnival Bikers Dry runAs events marking the Calabar Carnival draw closer, over 250 power bikes from Uyo, Imo, Enugu and Anambra States have participated in the 2016 Bikers’ Dry Run in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State.

Led by the state Governor, Ben Ayade, the extremely kitted crowd of bikers rode around the carnival routes to get familiar with the routes ahead of the main Bikers Carnival slated for December. 27.

According to Mr Ayade, the carnival which is 12 years in row is getting better and bigger with innovation added into it yearly.

The President of Metallic Nights Motorcycle Club of Calabar, Mr Akin Rickets, said that the club was established in early 2016 with the aim of getting power bikes riders to imbibe safety measures.

He maintained that 46 of his members were participating in Bikers’ Dry Run.

Governor Ben Ayade leading the bikers

“Our aim is to take safety measures by establishing the routes that would be taken on the real bikers’ day of December 27. We have distinguished personality in our club which ranges from military personnel, royal fathers, politicians and others,” Mr Rickets said.

A member of Millennium Motorcycle Club of Uyo, Mrs Ini Undonkan, said that she led 52 of her club members to participate in the Bikers’ Dry Run.

According to Undonkan, “riding a power bike is fun”. She pointed out that road crashes can be prevented if safety measures are taken.

Calabar carnival
A group of dancers that featured in past Calabar Carnival

“Some people see power bike as a male dominated show; but that is not true because we have over 10 females in our club who are experts.

“Riding a power bike is just like sport. As a woman, I wanted to be a pilot; but unfortunately I could not make it,” she told Channels Television’s correspondent Imani Odey.

The Bikers Carnival was first introduced in 2015 as a major innovation of the Mr Ayade-led administration to add colour to the event.

The Carnival in Calabar usually draws tourists from around the world and it has become a delight for most participants, as it showcases beauty, colour, craft and other talents that abound in Nigeria and particularly in the southern region of the oil-rich nation.

Ayade Donates 160 Vehicles To Security Agencies In Cross River

Ayade Donates 160 Vehicles To Security Agencies In Cross RiverIn a bid to curb the insecurity challenges in the state and ensure a smooth and crime-free 2016 carnival, the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has donated 160 vehicles to security agencies.

Speaking at the presentation of the vehicles to service chiefs in the state, Governor Ayade said that the quality of vehicles donated was an indication of the level of safety and security that would be provided for Cross River state residents.

He noted that the establishment of the homeland security is a determined commitment to address headlong, the issues of insecurity in the state.

“We have created an opportunity for everybody to come to Calabar for the carnival and end of 2016 but as you do so take a look at the array of vehicles that are here. That tells you of the level of security, level of safety that you would enjoy once you come to Calabar.

“We actually have the homeland security; the homeland security is a team of trained young graduates trained in the scheme of security, protection of lives and properties.

“They would be working in collaboration with the Nigerian Police and the armed forces to ensure peace, tranquility, safety of lives and properties all through the yuletide, carnival and indeed beyond.”

In his response, the State Security Adviser, Jude Ngaji said: “Today is a day of wonder because we are experiencing this kind of thing in the history of Cross River state.

“With this donation, coupled with the dynamic security alert governor and the proactive service commanders in the state, all the bad guys will have no choice but be on the run out of the state,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the Service Chiefs, the Cross River State Commissioner of Police, Jimoh Ozi-Obeh, thanked the Governor for the worthy donation and gave the assurance that his mandate of a crime-free Cross River state would be fulfilled.

He promised that the security agencies would not fail the state and the Governor.

Ayade Optimistic Calabar Carnival Would Boost Nigeria’s Economy

Ayade, calabar carnival, nigeria's economyThe Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has expressed optimism that the 2016 Calabar Carnival, would have a multiplier effect on not just the state but Nigeria’s economy.

He believes the event hold lots of opportunities for entrepreneurs from all over the world, who would participate in the exercise beginning from the preparatory period, to the climax of the event in January 2017.

According to the Governor, traffic is already being experienced in different sectors, following lots of activities that have heralded the event, thereby encouraging those yet to make up their minds on participating to do so.

He disclosed this at the flag-off of the second mop-up exercise, ahead of the main event, which had five bands participating.

The Calabar Carnival, adjudged as Africa’s biggest street party, is a showcase of Calabar carnivalthe rich cultural heritage of the people of Cross River State for over a decade now.
Prior to the carnival, the state holds three dry runs to enable participating bands get familiar with the carnival routes to enable them function optimally at the main event.

The second dry run flagged off at the Millenniums park, had the Governor and his wife as well as many dignitaries, present to witness the event.

Governor Ayade who stormed the arena riding on a bicycle alongside his wife, added color to the flag-off.

He expressed excitement that the 2016 edition would indeed be “bigger and better”.

Ayade Meets With Traditional Rulers In Cross River

traditional rulers, Ayade, Cross RiverThe Governor of Cross River State, Mr Ben Ayade, has met with the traditional rulers in the state to discuss how residents of the state can live peacefully.

Playing host to the traditional rulers led by their Chairman to the government house, in Calabar, Governor Ben Ayade, told the traditional institution to carry on the message of peaceful coexistence to their subjects.

He stated that they needed to talk to their people as the state government prepares for the commencement of its annual tourism programme.

According to Ayade, the meeting with the traditional rulers became imperative following the state’s desire to take security and peace in their domain seriously.

The Governor maintained that the state’s tourist image remains paramount.

He explained that the state received more ‎visitors in Nigeria within the last quarter of the year due to its annual festivities such as, the Leboku New Yam Celebration, Obudu mountain race as well as Calabar Carnival and festival.

He urged the gathering to join in propagating the state as an investment hub for all classes of people.

China To Invest $10 Billion In Cross River

Ayade of Cross RiverThe Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, says arrangements have been concluded for Henan Province of China to commence construction of $10 Billion project in the state.

He gave the hint about the project agreement while addressing reporters at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar on Thursday.

Governor Ayade said that the state would witness the arrival of 100 investors from Henan, who would set up various companies and industries in Cross River.

He also stated that the Henan Provincial Government would build a new China City in the state.

According to him, other team of investors would focus on various key projects, including huge agricultural investments, renewable energy, the garment factory, hydro power projects and the seaport.

Ayade further revealed that a logistic hub for the whole of Africa that would focus on the manufacturing sector would be established in the state.

He stressed that with the necessary arrangements on ground, his earlier budget of 350 billion Naira for the 2016 fiscal year would be surpassed.

Speaking about the Calabar Carnival, touted as the largest street party in Africa, the governor maintained that it would be awesome, filled with new excitement and a deepened content.

Cross River State To Host MBGN Pageant In October

MBGNCross River State Government and Silverbird Group have signed a 4-year management contract for the hosting of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN), at the prestigious 5,000 seat capacity Calabar International Convention Centre (CICC).

According to the agreement, Calabar will play host to both the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) and the maiden edition of Miss Africa Beauty Pageant owned by the Cross River State Government.

Speaking shortly after the signing ceremony at the CICC in Calabar, the State Governor, Ben Ayade, expressed confidence that Silverbird has the capacity and expertise to manage the centre, giving its track record in the entertainment industry.

According to the Governor, with the hosting of the two pageant shows in October and December, citizens of Cross River State and indeed Nigerians should key into the new development and make the best use of business opportunities it will offer.

The Group Vice President, Silverbird Group, Mr. Guy Murrày-Bruce, overwhelmed by the architectural masterpiece, described the CICC as the best of its kind in Africa.

Murray-Bruce said that the pageants would enable the state showcase its enormous tourism potentials to the whole world with the view to attracting tourists for economic gains.

He expressed delight to partner with the Cross River State Government on the project and promised delivering on excellence.

Christmas, New Year: FG Declares Public Holidays

The Federal Government has declared December 25 and 26, 2013 as public holidays to commemorate the Christmas and Boxing Day Celebrations.

Similarly, January 1, 2015 has been declared as public holiday to mark the New Year.

The Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, made the declaration on Friday in Abuja.

He advised all Christians and Nigerians in general to extend love, joy, peace and kindness which are the spiritual benefits of Christmas to their daily living.

He also asked that they reflect on the giant strides made by the present government in the development of the country.