Imo State Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha on Monday September 26, 2016, flagged off preparation for the 2016 edition of Imo State Carnival, calling on everyone to make it work.
In an event which took place at the Nick’s Banquet Hall, Government House Owerri, Gov. Okorocha revealed that the carnival will be tagged ‘Imo My Pride Carnival’ adding that in line with the Imo My Pride Project of the Rescue Mission, the Carnival will also join in boosting the tourism potentials of the state. He described Imo State as the tourism hub of the country, saying that only collective efforts of every stakeholder can make the event a success.
While inspecting the official designs and theme song of the carnival, Gov. Okorocha hailed the Hon. Paddy Obinna led committee, calling on them to involve everyone that will make the event great. He then charged youths and entertainers in the state to seize the opportunity the carnival will be providing to showcase their talent and strength, adding that the state government is working in partnership with some Chinese firms and Brazilian carnival specialists to ensure that Imo Carnivals 2016, beats other carnivals that has ever taken place in the country.
Gov. Okorocha then urged Imolites to live a happy life, adding that most of the roads under construction in the state will be ready before the carnival so that the event will run smoothly without interrupting the traffic of the city of Owerri.
Speaking earlier, the SA to the governor on Arts and Culture Hon. Paddy Obinna revealed that about 5000 people were on parade last year at the carnival and he is expecting that figure to double or tipple with the incentives that will be provided for floats at the carnival.
Hon. Obinna further stated that the carnival will boost the economy of the state as they estimating about 100,000 people coming into the state for the carnival. He then urged businesses and corporate bodies to take advantage of that and boost their businesses, also calling on them to partner in making the event the best of the best.
“There will be international participants as well as national participants from other states. So it is not just us; it is going to be us and the rest of the world.
“I want to assure you that with your corporation and the support from the government, this year’s carnival will surpass the other two we have done in the past”, Hon. Obinna said.
December 19 – 22 were picked as tentative dates for the event, while #ImoCarnival2016 was chosen as the official hashtag for the event.
Meanwhile, Gov. Okorocha charged all stakeholders ranging from political appointees, entertainers, media practitioners, traditional rulers and Imolites in general to ensure they play a big role in selling the brand, adding that only collective effort can make people from around the world want to identify with it.
He then took time to hail Hon. Iruno Chukwunonye, his SA on Protocols and Entertainment for a successful outing at the Imo Laff Session, calling on him and the entire team of entertainers to join hands with the carnival committee to make the event a historic one.
The governor then gave time for Imolites at the venue to make contributions and also criticize what has already been done, as a way of getting the best of the best.
The event was attended Chief Jim Nwobodo, APC South East Chairman, other APC state officials, traditional rulers, Imo State political appointees, state house members, NUJ executives, leaders of guilds in Imo State Based Artistes League, bloggers, amongst others.