As Calabar remains agog with its annual carnival, churches in the Cross River State capital, under the aegis of Christian Youth Action Group (CYAG), have advised the state government not to stage carnival on Sunday again.
According to the group, Sunday was the Sabbath (or holy day), and should not be desecrated…and the movement of Christians on such a day should not be restricted.
In a petition written to Governor Liyel Imoke, CYAG said it was unholy to organise carnival dry run along major roads of Calabar that are used by Christians on Sunday to access their worship centres, noting that the ban on movement on such routes prevent them from worshipping.
Carnival dry run is a rehearsal by both the children and adult bands of Carnival Calabar to prepare them for the main carnivals that hold on December 26 and 27 of every year. On such dry run days, the designated routes are closed to traffic from 12 noon, preventing vehicular mobility within the city centre.
In the petition signed by Effiong Udowong, Akpabio E., Lawrence Stephen, Theodore Effiong, Ephraim Effiong, Eugene Nyong, Elijah Effiong, Pastor Wisdom Asuquo, Martins Otudor and Helen Eze, all members of executive of CYAG, the governor was advised to find an alternative day to Sunday “as Christians cannot be stopped from worshiping God.”
“The spirit of carnival is seductive and distortive, hence the high rate of HIV/AIDS in the state. Most churches that run shift are always deprived the opportunity to do so because they are forced to shut down. The introduction of carnival has led to the increase of street children around our state capital and the vices therein,” the group said.
The group urged Governor Imoke not to make inglorious history by having churches shut down during his tenure.