Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River has suspended the 2021 annual Calabar carnival due to insecurity and the outbreak of the highly mutated Omicron COVID-19 variant.
Mr Linus Obogo, Deputy Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Ayade, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen on Monday in Calabar.
Obogo said the decision to suspend the annual festival was reached at a meeting with the governor, the State Executive Council members and stakeholders of the carnival.
“The gathering was to unveil the theme of this year’s carnival but based on the emergence of the new variant called omicron and the advise by health experts that it kills faster than other variant, the governor then puts it before the stakeholders and it was unanimously agreed that the carnival be suspended.
“The carnival band leaders and other stakeholders agreed that for the purpose of public health and safety, the carnival be suspended.
“Also, there is an emerging security report which indicates that the event may be taken over by some hoodlums.
“To avoid all of these from happening, it was advised that the carnival be suspended so that people are not caught unawares,” Obogo said.