Some physically challenged persons participating at the ongoing 20th edition of the Carnival Calabar on Thursday expresssed excitement over their involvement in the event.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews that they would in a long while cherish the gesture extended to them by the Cross River Government.
According to them, this has boosted their confidence in the state government as they believe that they will always be carried along in other state affair.
NAN reports that the physically challenged who could not walk moved the 12km distance in their rolling tyres from the Millennium Park to the UJ Esuene Stadium.
They wiggled their bodies in tune with the music played.
Sax Gambo, a physically challenged athlete with the state’s Sports Council, said he was elated when invited to participate in the carnival.
Gambo encouraged the state government to continue engaging the physically challenged in subsequent editions of the carnival, saying that it will boost their sense of belonging.
Also, Sadiq Abubakar, a street beggar, said that he was sure of getting stipend from his involvement in the carnival street party.
According to him, he will use the money to cater for his needs during the Yuletide.
Abubakar said, “I am happy to be here, at least I will be paid for participating and I will enjoy my Yuletide like every other person. I am grateful for this opportunity.”
Similarly, Sanni Gimbiya, said, “I feeel special and loved because I am not an indigene of the state and I am participating in this without lobbying.
“Though this is tiring but I am happy, this is my second time of participating and I hope to also come on board next year.”
Also, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) took to the streets of Calabar to distribute condoms to revellers to guide against the spread of HIV AIDs and other sexually transmitted diseases.