Judex Okoro, Calabar
Cross River Government, yesterday, said it has concluded plans to partner 12 communities in Yakurr Local Government Area for the 2019 Leboku Intentional Festival.
In the last 14 years, the festival, a celebration of new yam, king of crops, has become an annual event which is aimed at promoting the rich tourism potentials of the state.
Briefing journalists on activities for the August 24 at Yakurr, Governor Ben Ayade promised to take the festival to international cultural market.
Represented by a Deputy Director, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ekpeyong Ojoi, Ayade said the event had continued to grow bigger and stronger every year, thereby attracting more tourists into the state.
He said: “We shall continue to partner the 12 autonomous communities that made up Yakurr to add value to the event. So far, the ceremony has recorded success.
“Since 2006, when the government began participating in the event, it has empowered some youths with 31 vehicles and nine Dina trucks.”
He listed other items given to indigenes of the community durimg the festival to include 22 saloon cars, over 40 sewing machines, 40 hair dressing equipment, 16 motor bikes for best wrestling males, 16 cassava pressers and barbing saloon equipment.
In his remarks, MTN Team Leader, Chibugo Akuchire, said MTN has done empowerment of various form ranging from cash gifts and equipment to community youths to kick-start their small scale businesses.
In his remarks, the traditional ruler of Yakurr, Obol Ofem Ubana Eteng, assured safety of all the visitors and tourists during the ceremony.