Barring last minute hitches, plans are on to host the second edition of Plateau State carnival in Jos, which is one of the projects by the government to rekindle domestic tourism and bring back tourists to the city. The carnival with the theme: ‘One People' is set to rock the city of Jos in May, with tourists and visitors expected to come from all parts of the country.
Last year, the event debuted with pomp and attracted a sizeable traffic but this year the state government in collaboration with Folks Innovation Limited, the organisers, plan to hold a bigger carnival as a demonstration of its resolve to make Jos a destination of choice.
In recent months, Plateau was engulfed in the region’s history of savage internecine warfare, but now that peace has finally returned to the state, there is need to reposition it on the path of sustainable growth and development using tourism, sport, leisure and other activities aimed at enthroning the state once more as the City Of Peace and prosperity.
In line with the project, the government recently hosted the Nigeria Association Of Tour Operators, NATOP, annual general meeting at the Hill Station Hotel, Jos, as a way of partnering with the tour operators, who are professionals in destination marketing, in generating traffic to the state.
Speaking in Jos recently, the chairman of the Jos Carnival Local Organising Committee, Mr. Solomon Ejila said that the government wants to use the carnival brand to market and promote other tourism endowments in the state which have remained largely untapped.
Ejila listed the events billed for the carnival to include Beauty Pageant, culinary feast, guided tours to Wase Rock which hosts the specie of birds called Red Indigo and tours to Am-Pidon Lake, mini polo tournament, hiking to Shere Hills, among other activities during the weeklong festival. He disclosed that there would be a music fiesta, bikers parade, lottery, and children’s carnival, adding that about 300,000 people attended the last carnival in 2017. According to him, the importance of the carnival is to promote peaceful coexistence among the 54 ethnic groups that dwell in the state with their unique culture and tradition, noting that the theme would be reflected in the activities lined up for the carnival.
“The carnival will be a display of Plateau culture and heritage – bringing together ethnic groups from all 17 local government councils of the state.”
Ejila also explained that Jos has given vent to a lot of music talents, sportsmen and women, actors and actresses and has remained a haven for people from across the country.
He stated that the carnival was deliberately planned to hold after Easter, but had to be postponed tentatively till around May to fine-tune all arrangements to make it a grand event. According to him, the May date is subject to the state government approval. He said the maiden edition was targeted at Jos residents, adding that now, the state is prepared to host visitors from across the country.
Ejila added that the carnival organisers have taken a more creative approach to package a spectacular event that will be remembered for a long time, stressing that arrangements are on top gear to get a website running and the carnival village ready for the event.