South Africa-based Miss Akwa Ibom, Iheoma Nnadi, on Friday night, in Yenagoa got crowned as the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria for the year 2014.
Nnadi topped the 30 contestants who represented 30 Nigerian states at the event, which was held at Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Through this feat 19-year old, Nnadi, who also won the N3 million prize money, and a saloon car, will represent Nigeria at the Miss World beauty pageant holding in the United Kingdom later in the year.
Miss Edo, Queen Celestine, 22, emerged first runner-Up and Miss Kwara, Chinyere Adogu, 21, was the second runner-up.
Miss Edo also won the ‘Miss Amity’ prize and will represent Nigeria at the ‘Miss Universe’ beauty pageant while Miss Kwara, who also won the ‘Miss Charismatic’ prize, will also represent Nigeria at the ‘Miss Tourism’ beauty pageant later this year.
Other winners were Miss Kogi, Erica Nlewedim, 20, who won ‘Miss Photogenic; Miss Delta, Fortune Woko, 23, winner of ‘Best Traditional Costume’ and Miss Gombe, Precious John, 22, adjudged the ‘MBGN Model 2014’.
The event that was organised by the Silverbird Group was themed “The Art of Beauty”.
The contestants first appeared on stage in their traditional outfits at the invitation of the hosts of the event, IK Osakioduwa and Yvonne Ekwere.
The hosts also revealed that in a bid to foster unity and encourage more interaction among states, contestants would all be representing states other than theirs.
Their next appearance on stage was in short red skirts and body-hugging shirts and performed a choreographed routine to the tune of Davido’s ‘Aye’. Their next appearance was in their swim suits before finally putting on their evening gowns for the results.
First they were reduced by half and the contestants who made it into the Top 15 were those representing Bayelsa, Kogi, Ondo, Adamawa, Delta, Abuja, Kano, Edo, Imo, Anambra, Lagos, Kwara, Osun, and Akwa ibom.
The contestant representing Plateau State, Josephine Oghonoghor, 22, was voted in the Top 15 by viewers who participated through the social media.
The top five were then selected, and they were: Miss Osun, Endurance Akpoyibo (23); Miss Abuja, Princess Dennar (20), Miss Kwara, Miss Edo and Miss Akwa Ibom before the winners were announced.
Speaking after winning the crown, Nnadi said that she was overwhelmed and that she never expected she was going to become the queen even though she was confident of herself.
She promised to be a good queen and will represent Nigeria honourably and responsibly, at international events throughout her reign.
The Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, who spoke through his deputy, Rear Admiral Jonah John (rtd.), welcomed everyone to the “Open arms” of Bayelsa.
“We are trying to unlock the potentials of Bayelsa. Our state is organised in a purposeful manner and this is just the beginning,” he said.
NAN reports that the MBGN beauty pageant was founded in 1986 by Ben Murray-Bruce of the Silverbird Group; and the immediate past queen was Miss Anna Banner who represented Bayelsa in 2013.