Governor of Cross River State, Senator Ben Ayade, has announced the suspension of the 2021 Calabar Carnival over new covid-19 variant Omicron.
The state commissioner for tourism, Eric Anderson, last week said the carnival was going to hold but would be restricted to the UJ Esuene Stadium because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But Ayade made the announcement of the suspension on Tuesday during a meeting at the State Executive Council Chamber that was attended by carnival band leaders, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Eteng Jones Williams, members of the State Executive Council, local government chairmen from the 18 Council areas of the state.
He cited the health concerns arising from the outbreak of Omicron as well as prevailing security situation as one of the reasons for the suspension.
“I will not as a governor and leader compromise the lives and safety of the citizens for the fleeting and excitement of the carnival,” Ayade said.
Before announcing the suspension, Ayade had subjected the decision to popular votes, following which majority of the stakeholders voted the carnival be suspended.