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On Sunday, July 11, 2021, hundreds of corn and pear lovers from the South-South region of Nigeria converged in Calabar for AkwaCross Ndia Ibikpod ye Eben 2021.

The event which was hosted by the Cross River State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism Development, Hon. Eric Anderson is an agro-tourism initiative developed to boost tourism and foster unity amongst Akwa Ibom and Cross River states by creating a melting point for fun lovers in Calabar.

"I must thank my boss for finding me worthy to serve him, and for the approval of this Arts & Craft Village, Cultural Center, Calabar, for the project. As the Chief Security Officer of the state, nothing happens without his blessings." Eric disclosed in his remark. 

At about 4 pm, Mr Anderson rang the bell to declare the corn festival open, stating emphatically that asides from God, the giver of life and all the good things therein, his sincere gratitude is showered on his boss, the Governor of Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade for the enabling environment for the expression of creativity. 

A delegation from Akwa Ibom State, some members of the Cross River State Executive Council, and top government appointees graced the occasion to join citizens who had thronged the Calabar Arts & Crafts Village for the occasion.

In his keynote address, Cross River State Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Okon Owunna highlighted the importance of agriculture to Cross Riverians, with a focus on corn, which is a multipurpose food crop useful to humans and animals in the food chain and available all through the year. 

Former Commissioner for Finance, Rev. Takis Caifas, and his wife chaired the occasion and played the fatherly role at the event.

Directors of Boards and Agencies, Senior Special Assistants (SSA), and Special Assistants (SA) to Governor also came out in their numbers; notably the SSA on Carnival Planning, Mr Effiong Ekpenyong, the SSA on Cultural Center, Mr Victor Ekpo Ita, the SA on Entertainment, Mr Effiom Bassey who also doubles as the Chairman of Special Assistants Network (SAN).

Performances by the Department of Culture from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Diamond Brass Band, Abia state-based highlife act, Effiom Bassey, Effiom Trombone, and Covers Africa finalist, Peters Inyang, thrilled the crowd and kept them in their best mood.

The fusion of music and food created an ambience for the families in attendance to relax, unwind and savour several corn-made delicacies, creating an unforgettable experience for residents and visitors alike. 





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