Adamawa State queen, Mildred Ehiguese, has emerged as the new Miss Nigeria at the beauty pageant concluded on early on Friday at the Eko Hotel and Suites , Victoria Island in Lagos State.
Ehiguese replaces Chioma Obiadi who represented Anambra State.
The pageant’s organiser and publisher of The Daily Times of Nigeria, Mr Fidelis Anosike, had said that he is using the show to define the Nigerian woman.
Miss Nigeria, formed in 1957 with the Motto, “Empowering Women Beyond Beauty,’’ is an annual beauty pageant show which showcases positive attributes of Nigerian women and awards university scholarships.
The winner portrays exemplary qualities and serves as a role model for young women in the country.
The pageant is organised by Daily Times Nigeria (DTN).
The current title holder is a Geology student of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and former Miss Earth Nigeria Chioma Stephanie Obiadi, who represented Anambra.
The journey to this year’s finale started in November when auditions were held in three cities of Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Lagos within over a one-week period.
From personal photography sessions from Studio 24, using cool photo props, there were also monopoly games and passion project activities to keep the ladies entertained with refreshments.
The auditions started at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja on November 7 with an impressive turnout of contestants from the Northern region who showed up for a chance to become the next queen.
The contestants were judged by George Okoro (Photographer and Lifestyle Magazine Publisher), Adama Indimi (CEO Reign by Adama Lashes), Ogugua Okonkwo (CEO Style Temple) and Andy Ogbechei (Creative Director, A-Squared Network).
They served as the guest judges at this phase of the auditions, accompanied by Enyinne Owunwanne (CEO, Times Multimedia – organisers of the Miss Nigeria pageant).
The team moved to Port Harcourt on November 9 to receive contestants from the South-South/South-East region at the Echelon Heights Hotel, before heading to Lagos where the audition was held at the Times Multimedia, Lagos Headquarters.
From there, the 37 semi-finalists were announced in a special Instagram Live Session, setting the stage for Thursday’s grand finale.
The boot-camp ended on December 18, after which the girls went to Ilorin to meet the first ever Miss Nigeria, 86-years-old Mama Grace Oyelude.
NAN reports that in 2005, Anosike, young and bustling, took over a decapitated Daily Times and set out to revamp the vintage legacy of the publication.
He has since set his sights on rewriting the story of Miss Nigeria and graft in new chapters filled with hope, dignity, and value.
“For us, Daily Times, Miss Nigeria is one and the same,’’ Anosike said on Tuesday, shedding light on what Nigerians should expect.
“The show is going to be the premier platform that the company’s products, services, and different people can use to connect to every woman.
“Every woman is a queen. What we’ve been doing over the past 10 years is to get the Pageant to metamorphose into what it should be.
“This year, we are going from strength to strength. Every state has got its own representative. And it’s also important to note that Miss Nigeria is 60 years old having been founded in 1957.
“This year, we are also able to do a proper boot-camp; all the semi-finalists met with several prominent Nigerians, including the Director-General of The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), who is the purpose-partner for this year’s pageant.
“This year’s Miss Nigeria will be crowned as the ambassador for Human Trafficking, and she will spend her time and energy working with NAPTIP to raise awareness about the ills of human trafficking and try as much as possible to contribute her quota to ending the illicit trade.
“We also had a couple of top women personalities who went into the boot-camp to talk to the girls.’’
Anosike said that Miss Nigeria had been fully restored to its original intent, which is to be a platform for young female empowerment in Nigeria.
“We want to use it to raise the voices of women. We believe that every Miss Nigeria will also take on these issues, raising the voices of women, especially as it relates to issues around the environment.
“We have very solid partnerships with over 30 media houses and everybody has now come to understand that this is a national pageant and not a beauty pageant,’’ he said.