By Peter Ejiofor
The new Miss Nigeria, Chioma Obiadi, has commenced work on the “Green-Girl’’ Project, a Miss Nigeria Initiative, preparatory to representing the country at the Miss Intercontinental pageant next year, the organisers have said.
The organisers of the pageant since 1957, Daily Times of Nigeria (DTN), made the disclosure in a statement by the Communications officer on Friday in Lagos.
“The Green-Girl Project is a community development initiative aimed at empowering young women to become agents of sustainable environment in Nigeria.
“With the Green-Girl Project, she will be engaging young people and girls in schools/communities across Nigeria,’’ the statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said.
NAN reports that Obiadi, who is Miss Anambra 2016 and a student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, beat 36 other contestants to become the 40th Miss Nigeria in the keenly contested event at the Eko Convention Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Dec. 19.
She received a brand new Hyundai Grand Accent from Studio 24, an all-expense paid trip to France, courtesy Air France, one year free accommodation, complete style and beauty make over and N3 million.
The statement said that this year’s Miss Nigeria pageant was a huge success following testimonies from the attendees.
“Some said it was the best-organised Miss Nigeria since its revival. The audience was engaged until the end of the pageant unto the after party sponsored by Baileys.
“The venue for the pageant was magnificent and classy and the theme of the evening centred on Heritage Bank’s campaign #IamProudOfMyHeritage with the focus of this year’s pageant on the Edo culture.
“All the contestants pronounced their support for their heritage and were all geared up in the Benin maiden costume for their dance performance which was spectacular,’’ it said.
It recalled that the star-studded event included a fashion show, courtesy Studio 24 StyleSquad official photographers of Miss Nigeria 2016, stellar performances by Tekno, Ebisan, and the valedictory speech of the outgoing queen, Leesi Pamela Peter-Vigboro.
The statement said that Chief Olusegun Osoba, a former Governor of Ogun and former Editor and Managing Direction of Daily Times, praised the organisers for keeping the show alive.
“I must commend the organisers for keeping our memories alive: we would have been the forgotten ones…’’.
“The event also marked the 88th birthday of the first Miss Nigeria, Mama Oyelude, who was honoured with a birthday rendition by all the guest of the 40th Miss Nigeria.
The Director of the Miss Nigeria Organisation, Dr May Ikeora, who introduced the Green-Girl documentary, re-emphasised the importance of sustaining the pageant as a heritage and empowerment platform for young women.
She said that the beauty pageant gave her the platform to pursue a successful career/academic attainment and expected the same for future beauty queens.
Ikeora added that the success of this year’s edition of Miss Nigeria “is just a start of a better and consistent pageant that will continue to grow from strength to strength’’, the statement quoted her as saying.
It said this year’s pageant had really raised the bar for the Miss Nigeria Organisation and that the participants expect that it would continue to maintain and surpass the standard from now on.
The Miss Nigeria 2016 pageant had Judges Mai Atafo, Rita Dominic, Ibinabo Fibersima, Kunle Afolayan, Chioma Ude, Yemi Keri, Ezinne Akudo Anyooha and Binta Sukai.
Others are Lanre’daSilva-Ajayi, Mukta Daniyan, Biola Alabi, Debola Williams, Mr Adejumobi Adenowo, Funke Egbemode, Adaobi Nwakuche and Dupe Olusola.