The State Government says, it has taken the “Akachak” festival of the Oban people in Akamkpa into the Calendar of Tourism in the State.
The State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade stated this recently at the Grand Finale of “Akachak” festival held at Oban in Akamkpa Local Government Area.
The Governor, represented by his Deputy, Professor Ivara Esu said, the Akachak festival has grown from strength to strength over the years and maintained that Government has always supported the festival since it promotes the culture of the Oban people.
He noted that, the festival has become entirely an Ejagham festival by attracting the Ejagham Nation, creating an identity of the people.
The Governor assured the Oban people that, Government will support Akachak festival to achieve its ultimate goal of uniting the people and bringing peace to the Ejagham Nation.
In a remark, the Senator representing the Central Senatorial District of Cross River, Senator Owan Enoh who is also an Ejagham son, expressed delight that Akachak festival has grown bigger than what it was in 2015.
Senator Enoh asserted that, the festival is attracting people across the State and internationally, adding that, the Oban people are lost without their culture and history explaining that Akachak festival remains the only way to continue to sustain the history and uniqueness of the people.
The Commissioner for Tourism and Culture, Mr. Eric Anderson said the Ministry has consciously tried to develop culture beyond Tourism which is the mandate given to it by the Governor, Senator Ben Ayade.
He asserted that, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism will continue to support all festivals that would enhanced the identity of the people in the State.
The Chairman of Akachak festival Organizing Committee, Mr. Paulinus Edet stated that, the Ejagham have always been known for their rich culture, mastery of sculpture and distinct traditions, pointing out that it is imperative that the people know who they are, their origins, History and Tradition.
Mr. Edet asserted that, the vision of the Akachak festival is to become a melting pot of rich Ejagham culture and identity spanning from Ogoja to Calabarwith a desire to attract national and international visitors and their attention.
The two (2) week event featured various activities which included; wrestling, marathon race, football competition, Akachak street party, cooking competition, Miss Oban Beauty Pageant and cultural dances.
Highpoint of the event was a presentation of a Nissan car to the winner of the 2019 Miss Oban Hills Pageant, Joy Owali by the Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu, and a cash donation of 15 million naira to support the Akachak festival.