In what could be likened to a carnival, Calabar, the Cross River State capital was today agog as 37 contestants drawn from the 36 states and Abuja arrived the state for this year’s Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) Pageant.
Shortly after assuming office, the state governor, Senator Ben Ayade, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf the state government for a 4-year-hosting right with the pageant organizers, Silverbird.
The event which is slated to take place at the prestigious five thousand seat capacity Calabar International Convention Center (CICC), rated as second best in Africa, according to the organizers, promises to be the best of its kind ever hosted by Silverbird Group.
As early as 8.am, expectant Cross Riverians in buoyant mood, who came from the length and breadth of the state had stormed the Margaret Ekpo International Airport to receive the bevies of beauty for a pageant they described as another unique offering to kick start this year’s Calabar Festival.
At exactly 11.50am, when the aircraft carrying the contestants touched down, the airport erupted in wild jubilation to announce the arrival of the girls who looked everything like angels from Heaven.
Speaking to newsmen shortly on arrival at the airport, Manager Entertainment, Silverbird Group, Mr. Alozie Uzoukwu said: “The most beautiful and cleanest state in Nigeria, is hosting this year’s Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) pageant. I promise you a world-class package that will depict real entertainment.
“Calabar has always been a unique place and this event cannot be an exception in terms of content. It will be the best show we have ever organised. Mind you, we are also introducing a unique feature in this year’s show. It is the Mother-Daughter Pageant show which is slated for 17th October before the grand finale of the MBNG on the 24th.”
Offering further insight into this year’s event, Uzuokwu said: “We are bringing to the stage an exceptional bond that exists between the Silverbird and Cross River with a view to sustaining a peaceful coexistence.”
On the theme the pageant show, Uzoukwu maintained: “Another unique offering in this event is the fact that we are adopting Climate Change as our theme. We are here to preach climate change that Cross River State and the governor believe in and we can’t wait to see what Calabar has to offer. We will interpret and translate our theme “climate change” during the event.
“I encourage Nigerians to come, watch climate change being translated on stage,” he added.
Producer of the show, Ms. Juliet Hagarmen noted: “We are molding a queen that will challenge her counterparts at the global arena during the Miss World and Miss Universe Event. So, we are putting up a show that will be accepted internationally.”
Special Adviser, Governor’s Office and Event Management, Mr. Ken Aklah disclosed that the state is collaborating with Silverbird Group to package the event to show to the world its innate features of hospitality, warmth and receptiveness in Nigeria.
He averred that “Cross River is known as a tourism state in Nigeria and you should not expect anything less in terms of organization and package, more so as this event is coming shortly before our annual Calabar Festival.”
According to him, “as a prelude to the famous Carnival Calabar, this year, our focus is on environmental conservation, preservation and control with the introduction of Green Carnival Show.”
One of the contestants, Miss Anyadike Wonakwo, representing Anambra State said: “I’m really excited to be in Calabar. I have heard so much about Calabar, but I have never been here. It is great that I will be meeting its beautiful people as we go on a tour of some exciting sites across the state.”
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