Organisers of the 2018 African Festival for Arts and Culture (AFRIKFEST) and Merit Awards in Las Vegas, United States have announced a change of date for the event. The executive director, AFRIKFEST Las Vegas, Dr Christopher Usigbe, who disclosed this during a press conference, said the change of date for the festival was aimed at ensuring full participation of all African countries. He added that the mayor of Las Vegas also gave the organisers a “proclamation letter” for the annual fiesta and also needs enough time to adequately prepare for the event to ensure his full participation.

Usigbe, who was speaking in Asaba when he led the AFRIKFEST Team to visit Delta State and met with officials of the state government on possible cooperation between AFRIKFEST Las Vegas and Delta State government, noted that all hands are currently on deck to achieve the great event. The new date for the event, according to Usigbe, who is currently on tour to all African countries participating in the festival is 18th and 19th May, 2018. Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, his Kebbi and Ebonyi counterparts, Governor Atiku Bagudu, Governor David Umahi and Delta State governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, are among African leaders nominated for the African Festival for Arts and Culture awards and may be attending the event with their troupe.

Usigbe said: ‘’While we genuinely regret the inconveniences this might cause, it is important to inform you that the postponement is necessary to make it possible for the government to be represented at the highest level at the event. ‘’We are shifting the dates for the Festival to allow for full participation and of course, the mayor of Las Vegas, who has just given us a “Proclamation Letter” for the annual fiesta, also needs enough time to allow him to participate”. Also speaking, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Delta State, Hon Emma Chinye thanked the Afrikfest Team for the visit and assured them of maximum cooperation to see that the African Cultural Festival and Merit Award, is held successfully. Chinye also assured that he would ensure that Delta State cultural troupe participates in the festival, as the state governor was nominated for an award.