Efio-Ita Nyok|19 November 2016
A Beehive of beauties from no fewer than 30 African countries on Wednesday arrived Calabar Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar to participate in the maiden edition of Miss African Beauty Pageant.
This year’s theme of the Carnival Calabar revolves around "Climate Change", the pageant is being organised by the Cross River State Government to draw global attention to issues of climate change and sundry related environmental issues.
Addressing newsmen immediately after their arrival from Morocco, the state Governor, Mr Ben Ayade who was also arriving from the just concluded United Nations conference of parties COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco, noted that the pageant is a new addition to the state’s vast tourism offerings. In his exact words,
'The pageant is a warm embrace to Africa and more importantly, to create a platform to discuss the fate of Africans…the Miss Africa Beauty Pageant is a platform for the expression of intellectuality, capacity, unity, strength, vitality and the energy Africa represents…to celebrate the great splendor and beauty that God has given to Africa in terms of beauty, resilient in character and natural resources,'
'God has over endowed Africa and for that we have been a bit over indulged. So, this is a wake up call for us to begin to galvanize and maximally harness these great potentials for the benefit and wellbeing of our people. The time has come where Africans will have to sit to discuss the fate of a black man, come together as a continent and deal with their issues themselves. The time has come where we don’t have to depend on other continents to teach us how to drag our sun for solar energy or use the wings for energy generation and that African can indeed drive Africa. Some of the key issues we focused as a state were on conservation of our forest. I am just back from Morocco where the whole world focused on climate change so, it is consistent with this year’s carnival.'
Some of the participants, Miss Chamata Chimeze Obani, representing Nigeria, and Miss Annie Grace, representing Zimbabwe, in separate chats, lauded the state government for creating a platform for African ladies to shiwcase their beauty, intellect and character. She said they were excited to be part of the maiden edition of Miss Africa Beauty pageant. The Queens l called on the organizers to sustain the effort as it will serve as a veritable platform in uniting the continent.
However, critics have raised objections to the policy of the state hosting these beauty queens especially considering that $50,000 is designated to be dished out to these beauties. Ifere Paul is foremost in his mouthiness against the government of the state in this regard. For him, he thinks if this $50, 000 is invested in critical infrastructure it will pay off positively. Hear him out,
'They have got no breast on their chest. No yansh on their backside. And yet your governor is paying them $50,000.00(Fifty Thousand Dollars). E dey pain me seriously. That our children have no standard classrooms, no libraries, no chairs or benches, no tables and writing boards. No computers.
'E dey pain me seriously. Because our roads are bad. Our farmers are not encouraged. But we borrow their farms to pose for CBN governor to qualify for our continuous stealing. E dey pain me seriously. In the end, they will go and task my mum to pay her tax for selling just a bag of garri.
'May God Almighty give you gonorrhea as you waste our monies on this yanshlessness and breathlessness. What a cluelessness!!', Mr Paul concluded.
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