Residents of Calabar and fun seekers have called on organisers of the annual Calabar Carnival to improve on the various aspects of the event.
A cross section of the residents, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Calabar were reacting to the criticisms that trailed the timing and other aspects of this year’s carnival.
A resident, Mr. Jude Ochala, told NAN that some aspects of the carnival were no longer in conformity with what he used to know.
“The timing of the different bands is becoming boring and unattractive.
“In time past, before 8 p.m, almost all the bands would have completed their parade along the carnival routes which gives residents and fun seekers a sense of joy and excitement.
“Then they would retire to the stadium where the panel of Judges would pick the various winners.
“But in the 2015 and this year’s carnival, the bands were still on the streets up till 4a.m. in the morning.
“Those who were supposed to watch them had waited and gone back home to sleep disappointedly, ‘’ he said.
Miss Isabel Ruth, who came from Ogoja to watch the parade, said she was unable to watch them because of the lateness.
“I came from Ogoja with my friend to watch the carnival but we only succeeded in seeing two of them after waiting for several hours. We had to retire home.
“The bands were parading until midnight; I do not think it is fair. They should start early so that people can watch them and have a feeling of joy in the whole thing, ‘’she said.
In the same vein, a tourist from Anambra, Mr Morris Igwe, said he missed the opportunity of watching the bands because he was afraid of staying late in the night.
“I had to hurriedly rush back to my hotel room when it was close to 9 p.m.
“I watched one in the day time and another band came something past 7 p.m. and after waiting for the next two hours without any other band, I retired back to my hotel.
“Calabar carnival to me still stands out as the best in the country but If they really want people to enjoy the carnival, the organisers should make it early enough.
“I was told that the governor did not flag-off the event on time, hence the delay but I think there is need for adjustment, ‘’ he said.
A beautician, Mrs Elizabeth Archibong, further stressed the need for the organiS0ers to harmonise the various events and give enough publicity to enable people follow the events as they unfold.
“There was a lot of guess work during this year’s carnival. I do not think that is right. The events should be clearly spelt out so that people can follow even from their homes, ‘’ she said.