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MBGN turns Bayelsa into tourism hub

The 2013 Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria Pageant (MBGN)has confirmed Bayelsa State as the new tourism destination in Nigeria as it successfully hosted over 2,000 local and foreign visitors in Yenagoa in an event won by 18 year old Miss Anna Ebiere Banner.

The newly crowned Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, according to Silverbird Group,is expected to represent Nigeria in the Miss World Pageant later in the year in Jakartar, Indonesia.She was also handed a brand new car and appointed the Special Assistant on Culture and Tourism to the Bayelsa State Governor.

The event which was held at the Banquet Hall of the Bayelsa Government House in Yenagoa, was keenly contested by 32 contestants drawn from across the country. Miss Ebiere Banner defeated her closest rival, 19 year old Miss Imo State, Stephanie Okwu, to emerge the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria.

Okwu Stephanie emerged as first runner up. Others include second runner up, (Miss Adamawa) Powede Lawrence was second runner up while Miss Kaduna, Enoma Agboniko, clinched third runner up.

Miss Abuja, Imelissa Devidal, who could have given the Bayelsa beauty a serious challenge for the coveted prize, emerged fourth runner up due to her poor showing in the question and answer session.

Bayelsa State,according to the Minister of Culture,Tourism and National Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke has also been chosen to host over 7,000 Nigerians and foreigners for the National Tourism,Arts and Culture Festival, the UNESCO UnderWater Community Conference for over 70 world experts for the African Centre for Underwater Imaging.

High Chief Duke said the 2013 MGBN is one of the most colorful and well attended events hosted in the country in recent time,’the successes recorded is brought about by partnership between Bayelsa and the Silverbird group.Dickson has become a great Icon of tourism.Tourism is one of the top three economic investments in the world.If we want to be among the top three economically viable countries and states,we better start doing what Bayelsa is doing.’

The toursim minister said the 2013 MGBN is a spectacle of colour and beauty. ‘It is a clear display of the beauty in the Nigerian Woman and the values of Woman.’

The event also witnessed the presentation of the Silver Bird Unique Personality Award to Nollyhood star actress, Mrs. Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, for her contributions and consistency in acting and show biz.

Jalade-Ekeinde,who is also known for her pet project on Child Right advocacy,took the opportunity to slam the leadership of the National Assembly for the passage of a bill approving early marriage. She described the bill as a ‘death’ sentence passed on a child instead of providing the Nigerian children with an enabling law that will ensure proper and quality education,health care and protection against paedophiles and sex criminals.

An elated host and Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson,while affirming his appointment of the Miss Nigeria as his Special Assistant on Tourism and State Ambassador on Tourism,said ‘Playing host to these two historic events, the prestigious Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) and MBGN awards within a space of just four months gives credence to the fact that Bayelsa State is fast growing to become the next tourism hub of the country and Africa,’.

According to him, it was a testament to the existence of peace and security in the state, adding that his ‘restoration government is geared towards the promotion of gender equality as enunciated in the national gender policy of the country.’ Dickson said his administration will ensure that lives and property of investors are secured, noting that investment on security would drive the state economy to greater heights.

Describing the contestants as worthy ambassadors of Nigeria, Dickson saying 32 contestants had been in the state for the past two weeks and had visited historic sites in Brass, the first oil well drilled in 1956 at OLOIBIRI and other tourists sites.

In his speech,the Vice President of the Silver Bird group, Mr. Guy Murray-Bruce, commended the Bayelsa State Government for the decision to sponsor the 2013 edition of the MGBN and said such sponsorship has exposed the beauty contestants to life-time memories that will be shared among family and friends for generations to come.