Kogi State emerged the overall winner at the just concluded 2016 edition of Abuja Carnival, winning a total of six trophies and six plaques under different competitive events; just as Bayelsa State took the 2nd Overall Best position, while Delta and Ogun States took 3rd and 4th positions, respectively.

From the Boat Regatta event, the Best Boat Regatta Costumes award went to Bayelsa State; Best Boat Regatta Display award went to Kogi State; while the Best Decorated Boat Award went to Bayelsa State.

Nasarawa State took 1st and 2nd positions in the Best Masquerade Costume and Best Masquerade Display awards, respectively, while Bayelsa State emerged 1st position in the Most Spectacular Masquerade performance category.

In the Durbar competitive category, Bauchi State emerged 1st and 2nd positions in Best Durbar Costumes and Best Decorated Durbar category, respectively; while Yobe State came 1st in the Best Durbar Performance category.

Kogi also took the 1st positions in the Best Float Costumes, Best Carnival King and Queen, as well as the Best Carnival Performance categories; while Ogun State came 1st in the Best Carnival Float category with Abia State clinching the 1st position in the Cultural Night Component of the Carnival and Katsina State taking the 1st position in the Food category of the Carnival.

Announcing the winners at the closing ceremony of the carnival which held at Eagle Square, Abuja on Tuesday, 6th December, 2016, the Artistic Director, Abuja Carnival, Mr. Abiodun Abe, disclosed that while Twenty Two (22) states participated in this year’s edition of the Carnival, only Sixteen (16) states presented floats that paraded the major streets of Abuja, the Federal Capital.

He attributed the non-participation of some states in the Carnival Float to their inability to design them as a result of non-accessibility of funds from their respective state governments, despite the fact that they had approval from their Governors.

He also disclosed that this year’s edition of the Abuja Carnival was all inclusive as the physically challenged people in Nigeria were allowed to participate fully, where they displayed their talents like all other states that participated in the competition.

While declaring the Carnival close, the Vice President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo, who was represented by Senator Babafemi Ojodu, appreciated all the states for their participation in the 2016 edition of the Carnival, saying the fact they came from different parts of the country to stay together and compete in peace and harmony is an indication that there is much we can do with our culture in the area of diversifying our economy.

His words: “Tonight, you have shown that there is no part of this country that is not blessed; there is no part of this country where we do not have talents. Our musicians and movie producers have done us proud by selling our culture across the world. It is now left for you dancers and the troupes from across the country to also storm the world and let the world see you from what you are made of so that we can also make millions of dollars and pounds and invest back home in this industry that can employ millions of our teeming youths across the country”.”

Dignitaries present during the closing of the carnival were the Honourable Minister and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Mrs. Ayotunde Adesugba, respectively; Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Assoc. Prof. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma; Director-General, Centre for Black African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), Dr. Ferdinand Anikwe; Director-General, National Council for Arts & Culture, Mrs. Dayo Keshi; Director-General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, Mrs. Chika Balogun; Director of International Cultural Relations in the Ministry, Mr. George Ufot, and his Entertainment and Creative Industries counterpart, Ms Grace Isu Gekpe; among others.

Caleb Nor

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO, Abuja