States shun Abuja Carnival over fear of Boko Haram

abuja carnivalThere was little to dance about for organisers of the 2014 Abuja National Carnival which began on Tuesday with 30 states absent at the opening ceremony.

The low turnout was immediately traced to fear over possible attack by Islamist militant group, Boko Haram.

The carnival, which has the theme “Building an Enduring Creative Nation’’ was almost cancelled some weeks ago due to the concerns of insecurity.

The opening witnessed a poor turnout as the states did not put in any appearance at the street procession which usually marks the start of the event.

Only seven states took part in the opening event which was without the usual truck decorated with carnival floats in the street procession.

The state contingents which took part in the opening of the carnival are those from Kogi, Zamfara, Ebonyi, Niger, Akwa Ibom, Kano State and the FCT.

There was also in attendance the Ijaw Cultural Troupe.

As a major departure from previous events, carnival floats at the event were mounted on rickshaws, popularly known as “Keke NAPEP’’.

There was also no presence of any foreign participation.

Some of the participants at the opening attributed the poor turnout to the security challenges facing the country.

Other patrons of the event said inadequate publicity was robbing the event of the glamour and expected gains.