The morning of April 16, 2012 was greeted in Monrovia and elsewhere with the highest degree of disappointment and frustration following news of the ‘mischief’’ which characterized the April 14, 2012 Miss Liberia Beauty pageant. The annual event, sponsored by the Cellcom GSM Company in Monrovia, was organized by CT. Com Limited, headed by its Chief Executive Officer Christopher H.S. Onanuga with 11 young Liberian ladies participating.
“Miss Lib Contest Ends In Fiasco” was the New Dawn’s front page sub lead which actually broke the news of the controversy over the winner of this year pageant held at the Executive Pavilion down town Monrovia. The controversy ensued soon following the declaration of Miss Lofa County as winner by CT.Com’s Chief Executive Officer in contrast to Miss Montserrado County as officially decided on by the panel of judges.
It preceded the declaration of Miss Grand cape Mount County (222 points) as first runners-up and Miss Sinoe County (183 points), second runners-up by the MC and Nigerian-born actor Desmond Elliot, who out-rightly refused to heed to the demand of the organizer to announce Miss Lofa (168 points) on the morning of April 15.
The Chief Judge of the 2012 Miss Liberia Beauty Pageant and Executive Producer of Miss ECOWAS Peace pageant, Maxine Menson, told a news conference prior to her departure from Liberia that with the least, Miss Lofa County did not meet the standards set to become Miss Liberia 2012.
But CT.Com’s Chief Executive Officer Christopher Onanuga, at a news conference on Tuesday, maintained that the declaration of the winner was based on an SMS poll (voting system) 40%), over-all evaluation of the contestants (20%) and Judges’ decision (40%)-a justification journalists and observers at his news conference described as not compatible with the standards of Miss World and Miss ECOWAS.
By now the so-called winner of the 2012 Miss Liberia pageant, Miss Lofa County would have even rejected the Crown amidst such controversy and embarrassment to her person, the President of Liberia who graced the occasion and the nation by CT.Com Limited.
With the current disappointment and disgrace engulfing the 2012 Miss Liberia Pageant, the issue abide is the lesson learnt so that Liberia does not continue to experience repeated controversies (the 2010 Miss Liberia Pageant) against its renewed international image. What actually went wrong, why, how and the motive should be at the core of the thinking of the Government of Liberia in an attempt for the way forward.
In consonance with the foregoing, many Liberians do not consider the seizure of the 2012 Miss Liberia Crown by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism as the solution to the mess created for this country by CT.Com Limited, bur a thorough investigation that would expose the facts. The lackadaisical posture of MICAT in the organization of the event may also be an attributing factor for the country’s current embarrassment.
Henceforth, MICAT must be very steadfast in determining who should actually organize the annual event. In fact, it is important for MICAT to consider incorporating previous Liberian Miss Liberia organizers, alongside international judges in future events so as to be reflective of its true beauty, glamour and meaning in terms of excellent image-building for Mama Liberia in the eyes of ECOWAS and the world at large.