Naija's Most Wanted, a musical concert often staged as one of the top notch events during the Calabar Christmas Festival has never failed to live up to its billing as one of Nigeria's top-flight music concerts.
The 2012 edition which was sponsored by Diamond Bank Plc, was graced by top government functionaries and people of Cross River State, and some of Nigeria's finest music sensations who thrilled the audience with exceptional performances.
These artists include 2face Idibia, MI, Ice Prince and also Maya kay, a burgeoning London-based Nigerian musical talent. Other musicians include Meron, Sky boy, Calabar-based musician, AB, Xmine and Jamie Press among others.
The concert commenced at about 9pm on Wednesday 26 December, 2012 and stayed on as several musicians and comedians took turns to keep the guests on their feet well into the morning of Thursday 27 December, 2012.
Award winning artist, 2face Idibia, gave a good account of himself as he held the audience spell-bound at the jam-packed U.J.Esuene Stadium with his music, rendering his hit songs like African Queen and Ihe neme. He was preceded by notable artistes including top rapper, M.I. who generously gave members of the audience some of his personal belongings including his wrist watch and a gold neck lace.
The Calabar Christmas Festival is indisputably the biggest and longest multi-dimensional, carnival in West Africa. It boasts of 32 days of exciting events, colourful parades and global participation by close to a million people from all over the world. The carnival that commenced at the turn of the Millennium has grown in popularity, scope and participation yearly to become Nigeria's strongest tourism brand.
The Cross River State Government has employed the Festival over the past years to drive its tourism efforts and provide exposure for its vast tourism sites and infrastructure such as the Obudu Cattle Ranch, the Tinapa Business Resort and Marina Resort amongst others.
The festival starts with a tree-lighting ceremony on November 30 every year at the Millennium Park Calabar and culminates in a thanksgiving ceremony on January 1 of the succeeding year.
In between, there are musical concerts which have featured renowned national and international artistes like Lucky Dube (of blessed memory), Joe, Alpha Blondy, Hugh Masekela, Oliver Mtukudzi, Akon, Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, Chevelle Franklyn, Fat Joe, NeYo, Asa, D Banj among others have all at one time or the other graced the festival with superlative performance.
The festival also featured awareness campaigns and seminars on contemporary issues of global concern, children Christmas camp, theatre performances, vocational trainings for youth, fashion and food fairs as well as a weekend at the Obudu Ranch Resort to celebrate Africa, and so many other side attractions.