Organisers of the annual Idoma International Carnival have lined up activities for this year’s edition of the festival.
The yearly event, adjudged to be the biggest street party North of the Niger will take place between 23rd to 26th of December, 2022, in Otukpo, the ancestral headquarters of Idoma land.
The theme for the 10th edition of the fiesta is Alo Gweye (Let’s celebrate).
Addressing newsmen at a press conference to unveil its new emblem and activities for this year’s edition in Abuja on Tuesday , 1st November 2022, the Vice President of the organisation, Henry Ipole, said the primary objective of Idoma International Carnival, which is to provide a platform to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Idoma people of Benue State, expose the world to the rich potentials of the Idoma culture and its positive effects on business investment and tourism.
Ipole, who stood in for the initiator and president of the organisation, Dr Edwin Ochai, noted that IIC is also aimed at providing a forum for participants and investors to enjoy the rich cultural heritage of the land and as well “identify broad policy options and develop strategies for mobilizing capital and investment that will help unlock the vast resources and potentials of the land.”
According to him, “The Idoma International Carnival aims to attract our best in the arts, sports, fashion, academia, economy, agriculture and business to facilitate common grounds for building a self-helping community in addition to government often scarcely resourced programmes.
“This is the 10th edition of the carnival. We want to let the world know that a lot has been going on in Idoma land and in Nigeria at large. We feel that the carnival will unite the people. As a country, we are as divided as never before in the history of this nation and you all know that Idoma land is part of this entity and we believe strongly that culture is one of the tools we can use to unite this divided nation.
“We want to preserve and expose the rich cultural heritage of our people – the Idoma.
“Idoma land is blessed with people in every strata of life. Talk about the David Marks of our time, the 2face Idibias of our time. The Bongos Ikwues, the Amokachis, the pastor Enenches and many others.
“The festival has in no small measure exposed the economic potential of the Idoma people to the world.
“It is a thing of pride to tell the whole world that this carnival has attracted a lot of economic growth to Idoma land – year in year out – to the market women, to the hoteliers, to the pure water sellers, motorcyclists, just name them.”
Speaking on activities to mark the 10th edition of the carnival, Ipole said, “Some of the activities lined up this year include: The Face of Idoma International, Carnival band Procession and Competition, Street party Cultural display/competition, Ogbureke traditional Wrestling, Idoma Youth Football tournament, Arts and Food Exhibition/Mini trade fair, Idoma Merit Awards, Okada and women empowerment,Carnival Village, Fireworks/ Burn fire night, music and comedy.”
Also speaking at the press conference, the Deputy Director, Festival and Carnival in the Ministry of Information and Culture, Festus Ojieh, said the Federal Government of Nigeria is fully aware of Idoma Idoma International Carnival.
Ojieh applauded the organization for always preserving the cultural heritage of the Idoma people, which he described as “very rich.”
Ojieh, who pointed out the contributions of carnivals to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, assured of the federal government’s support for a successful hosting of the festival.