Judex Okoro, Calabar
The Cross River State governor, Professor Sir Ben Ayade has called for an abolition of all forms of restriction of movement and entry in all countries in the world.
The governor made the call in Calabar while declaring open this year’s Carnival Calabar, which has as its theme “Humanity”.
“Let us put an end to the restriction of human movement and then allow the free movement of goods. I plead with the world that we should put an end to the control of human movement.
“Why should the man who produces cocoa in Ikom in Cross River State not be free to go to Switzerland for instance whereas the cocoa he produces gets down there.
“God created man to bring value to the society as well as humanity. Humanity is insensitive to religion because with humanity we can always provide a shoulder for one another to lean on,” the governor said.
Ayade who was accompanied by his wife, Linda, deputy, Professor Ivara Esu as well as the wife of the former governor of Cross River State, Onari Duke, said it’s inhumane to restrict movements into developed countries, which are extremely wealthy, thereby concentrating poverty in the other parts of the world.
He emphasised that as a result of this, humans have lost their humanity to the animals and have completely deviated from the original intention of creation, which was to create unfettered access to all societies and communities.
His words: “If exploitation must come to an end, we must unite because the restriction of movement in the world was not anticipated in the bible, it is not provided in the Koran, and neither is it provided in any religion.
“I call on all leaders to revisit the policy of restriction of movement so that the world can globalize and we can eliminate the scourge of extreme poverty so as to make the society what God wanted. Humanity is the only religion that any man should adopt.”
The governor added that man has attached so much emphasis on religion forgetting that the only religion in the world is humanity and called for a reversal of the status quo.
“We are all gathered here for the carnival procession but beyond this is the message that man must change the way we live. If a human being can slit another human being’s throat, if we can kill someone just to take his properties, if you go to an accident scene just to steal from the victim, then you have lost your humanity,” he said.
Earlier in his address, the chairman of the State Carnival Commission, Gab Onah, said over the past four years innovative ideas had been brought into the carnival to help address key societal concerns.
He said ranging from themes such as Climate Change, Migration and Africanism, Carnival Calabar has succeeded in addressing these concerns and also based on the participation of states across the country, the festivities has brought Nigeria under one umbrella, and also provided a true platform for cultural security and to change lives.
In a related development, a young Kenyan model and current Miss Kenya, Irene Ng’endo Mukii, has won the 2019 edition of the Miss Carnival Africa pageant.
She beat 22 other candidates, including Nigeria’s Martha Ogar, to emerge the winner. In addition to a cash prize of US$35,000, she also got an all-expenses paid trip to Malaysia.
This year’s beauty pageant was the fourth edition held in Calabar as part of activities to mark the Carnival Calabar festivities.
He expressed confidence that the young models from Africa would help spread this message of humanity to the world so as to bridge the gulf that currently separates peoples and societies.
Also speaking Senator Florence Ita Giwa said she was proud of the models because they all have what it takes to change the narrative about Africa, and called for humane coexistence among peoples across the world so as to make the society a better place.