By George Odok
Calabar – No fewer than 50 naval personnel from the Eastern Naval Command, Nigerian Navy, Calabar on Sunday participated in the third dry run of the 2016 Calabar carnival.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Navy band tagged `CNS Band’ became the first military formation to participate in the 12 years history of the carnival.
Commodore Obed Ngalabak, Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship Victory (NNS-V), who together with other officers who participated in street dance along the carnival routes, said the Navy was happy to associate with the carnival.
He said that Cross River government included the Navy into the carnival by allocating a band to the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok Ete Ibas, called `CNS Band’.
He said that the Navy was happy to associate with the annual festival which attracts tourists from African and foreign countries.
“We are happy to participate in the last dry run of the 2016 Calabar carnival.
“As we can see, the festival is unique and colourful and we are here to add some vitality into it’’, he added.
Earlier, Mr John Gaul-Lebo, Speaker, Cross River Assembly, who inaugurated the dry run, expressed satisfaction that the Calabar carnival was getting bigger and better.
He said that the last dry run should be a double celebration in the state following Gov. Ben Ayade’s Supreme Court victory of Dec. 9 over a case of age falsification instituted against him by Joe Agi.
“The annual Calabar carnival is getting bigger and better. We can see the colourful attires of the participants and know that we are ready to host the world come Dec. 28.
“You cannot take away hospitality and tourism from us; from all the dry runs we have had, I can assure tourists from all over the world that Calabar is ready for the show.
“Calabar carnival is 12 years; we are proud of our identity and we must also continue to sustain the tempo of hosting the largest street party in Africa’’, he said.
NAN reports that major streets in Calabar metropolis were blocked to give room for participants in the dry run.
Officers of the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, manned the carnival routes.