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Calabar carnival accident: It will never happen again, says Ayade as death toll rises

BY Rita Okonoboh

Ben Ayade, governor of Cross River, says the state is taking stricter measures to ensure that the circumstances that led to the accident at the Calabar carnival do not re-occur.

One more person has been confirmed dead — bringing the death toll to eight — following the accident which occurred during the carnival on Tuesday.

A car, said to have lost control, rammed into a crowd leaving more than 20 persons with injuries.

The bikers’ activity for Tuesday was, thereafter, suspended.


Speaking on Wednesday when he visited victims at the Navy Hospital in Calabar, Ayade said security for the carnival will be upgraded to include military personnel.

“We’re here in Navy Hospital, Calabar, to see some of the accident victims from yesterday. We had a situation in which a driver, whose identity is yet to be unravelled properly, got himself forcefully into the carnival route which was properly barricaded and well-policed, and in the course of being on high speed, missed his way and ran into the watching public,” the governor said.

“As a result of that, we had some loss of lives, and we are here to see those in the hospital to show the concern of the government.


“It is a watershed in our carnival history. It will never happen again.

“This morning, before we commenced, all the arms of the military were fully deployed. We will not rely only on the police, and the barricades will be fully enforced.

“I have insisted that anybody who breaks through, seize the car, tow it, send it to the police station, and we will auction that vehicle. It is a standing instruction, going forward.”

Ayade also commended the hospital for attending to the victims promptly.


Meanwhile, according to NAN, Maikano Hassan, sector commander of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Cross River, said one of the children injured in the accident was the eighth fatality.

“We went round the hospital where the injured were being treated to discover that one additional death had been recorded,” he said.

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