A Case For CARNIRIV 2015


Apart from the rich endowments in oil and gas, one area Rivers State has become most popular is its enviable and rich cultural heritage.  Not only has that made the state first among equals in the annual national carnival, yearly held in Abuja, Rivers State has become even more famous for its own annual cultural revival epoch popularly called CARNIRIV.
Since its introduction in 1988, the State’s cultural carnival has grown to become a rallying point for the people in celebration of peace, unity and oneness in spite of their diverse tongues, creeds and cultures.  Not only has it grown to become a major tourists attraction and invitation to Nigerians in the diaspora, CARNIRIV is also a valuable tool for rejigging  the informal sector of the Rivers economy.
That is why many are worried that less than a month to the period often earmarked for the fiesta, not much has been heard from the organizers. By now local government contingents should start rehearsals and other preparations to meet international standards and packaging.
Unfortunately, in spite of its unifying force and boosting trade and commerce, some still misconceive CARNIRIV as a mere jamboree. It should not be considered a mere Jamboree because it is not.  Instead, it should be viewed as an annual Rivers Statement that not merely underscores the people’s unity even in diversity, but displays a testament of a peaceful state.
This year’s edition is even more imperative because it will help to debunk the huge lies spread about the level of insecurity in Rivers.  The government and the people must prove enemies of the state wrong and celebrate the peace which the state has enjoyed since the emergence of the Nyesom Wike administration.
CARNIRIV has grown beyond partisan claims and passion. It has become a Rivers heritage, therefore every government in power must appreciate that. It is a people’s invaluable treasure that must be nurtured, improved upon and celebrated on an annual basis.
Yes, there are economic challenges, on account of dwindling national resources. But no investment in CARNIRIV should be considered a waste, because the gains are immence though not easily quantifiable. Its strength lies more in its ability to unite the people, foster intertribal understanding and rejing the informal sector of the Rivers economy and usher yuletide in a very unique way.
Subsequently however, The Tide will advise that CARNIRIV be sponsored through a Public-Private partnership and be better branded and packaged for global marketing.  Also, government may through  the Culture Ministry elect to encourage special displays during special periods in the year’s calendar for specific projections by local government areas to attract tourists.
This is because, in addition to oil and gas, Agriculture and Communication sectors, Tourism Development has proved to be a very lucrative venture.  The success stories of Brazil and Isreal in that regard are for all to see.
That is why The Tide enjoins the Wike administration to consider CARINRIV as a state’s policy priority annually looked forward to by the people, not as jamboree but a forum to showcase the people’s rich and enviable cultural heritage. In course of the programme also young music talents are fished out, prolific dancers and drummers identified and lasting friendships built.
Another key feature of CARNIRIV is the opportunity if affords host communities and indeed other entrepreneurs to advance trade and commerce.  Through exhibitions of several artworks and special Christmas wears, buyers and sellers meet, and tourists are lodged in hotels, thus also boosting the hospitality industry.
More than anything else CARNIRIV is an annual opportunity to sell Rivers to the world, attract the world to the state and let them leave with enduring nostalgia in the minds of first time visitors to fantacise about a repeat.
These indeed are what make CARNIRIV very unique and why it must be sustained.