Abuja - Akwa Ibom has been declared the overall winner of the 2013 edition of the Abuja National Carnival.
In the result announced in Abuja on Tuesday, Kogi clinched the second position while Niger came third. The FCT and Rivers jointly clinched the fourth position.
Akwa Ibom also came first in the masquerade fiesta and adjudged the 'best decorated’ carnival state.
Kogi came first in the Children fiesta event and the best carnival queen, while Ebony came first in the cultural night and the food fair event.
Yobe came first in Durbar, Kaduna State and Niger came second and third, respectively, while Bayelsa came first in the boat regatta event followed by Rivers and Kogi.
In the music and dance display for FCT schools, Pilot Science Primary School, Wuse, came first while Army Day Secondary School, Maitama, came first in the primary and secondary school categories.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who declared the ninth edition of the carnival closed, solicited the collaboration of stakeholders to upgrade the country’s culture and tourism sector for wealth creation.
Represented by Anyim Pius Anyim, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Jonathan said the carnival would contribute to the development of the nation’s economy.
"It is heartwarming that the carnival is now a veritable platform for exchanging cultural values between the different ethnic groups in the country.
"The high quality display in the various events is a statement of fact that the culture and tourism sector is now better position to significantly contribute to national development," he said.
The president pledged the commitment of government to support and strengthened the carnival in order to serve as 'veritable channel’ to promote and market Nigeria’s rich culture.
Earlier, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger, had called for the revival culture and tourism as well as the cultural norms and values imbedded in the country’s culture.
He said for the country to develop, the culture of honesty, truth and good moral should be upheld.
"As we celebrate Nigeria’s centenary, let us think were we went wrong and fashion out ways to correct them in order to move forward,’’ he said.
In his remark, Edem Duke, the Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, said the carnival provided a building block to promote and market the nation’s tourism sector.
He said over the years, the carnival had grown to strengthen Nigeria’s cultural diversity.
Duke said the carnival offered opportunity for Nigerians to look at the things that made them one so that they could build and develop them.
No fewer than 19 states in the country and four foreign countries participated in the carnival, with the theme, "A People for a Century, a People Forever’’.