BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
The Chairman of Bakassi Local Government Area, Hon Chief Iyadim Amboni Iyadim, has described Bakassi Fish Festival as a brand with potentials that qualify it to be be included in the Cross River State tourism calendar.
Speaking on Tuesday while declaring open the maiden edition of Bakassi Fish Festival at Esuk Mkparawa, Ikang , Bakassi Local Government Area, Iyadim disclosed that the festival will be presented to the state government to be considered amongst its other festivals because of its potential to promote trade and tourism.
Iyadim noted that as a strategically placed international border town with various aquatic natural resources, the festival is capable of meeting the standards of other nationally acclaimed fish festivals as well as attract participation and tourists from neighboring countries.
He observed though the maiden edition had gone through some teething problems, which according to him is normal, subsequent editions will address them to ensure standards are maintained.
The Chairman commended the organizers of the festival for thinking outside the box to come out with a vision that shows Bakassi can have a better image while lauding the various fishing tribes that turned out in large numbers in support of the festival.
Iyadim applauded the Ikang Clan Council for its blessings to ensure the festival became a reality with the view of showcasing the natural endorsement of the area.
A representative of the brains behind the festival, Mr Aqua Edet, in his welcome address, disclosed that that the Bakassi Fish Festival will be an annual event like New Yam Festival ( Leboku) and others that are celebrated elsewhere , adding that Bakassi is one place that has to be celebrated because of its large arable land and aquatic resources viable for business.
Edet stated that the move to rewrite the story of Bakassi has begun , assuring that the festival will grow stronger, bigger and better.
Highlights of the ceremony included the unveiling of the Bakassi Fish Festival Anthem, rendition of Efik ballad, display, inspection and selling of fish.