Previous winners of Ada and Opara Imo Pageant might be the last to ever hold the titles with emerging news that Imo State Government has dumped the event.
A flyer emanating from the office of the Senior Special Assistant on Youth Affair to Imo State Governor has it that the 10th and 2020 edition of Mr. & Miss Imo Beauty Pageant will be hosted by the state government.
With the original owners of the event excluded from the flyer, it looks like a total takeover by the government with representatives of both parties using different words to describe the relationship.
While Chris Ikoku the owner of Chris Events who have been organizing Mr. & Miss Imo Beauty Pageant in the last decade, said his brand has always been a government endorsed event, while the SSA on Youth Affair to Imo State Governor, Hon. Eric Uwakwe said it is a partnership.
Chris Ikoku could not explain the last time his event has received state government endorsement, having not worked with the government of Sen. Rochas Okorocha nor ousted Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, the pageant director said “he cannot give out that information at the moment”
Mr. Ikoku defended the decision of the state government to work with him, adding that they have the right to work with any pageant organizer of their choice.
Failure to organize the 4th edition of Ada and Opara Imo in December 2019 by the ousted government of Hon. Emeka Ihedioha saw lovers of the pageants and intending contestants disappointed, while the reigning Queen Chinenye Isabella Okafor is on her second reign just like the others who previously wore the crown.
Queen Judith Orisaekeziem who was the second winner of the Ada Imo crown served for two years, due to inconsistencies in the organization of Imo State Carnival, while Queen Chinenye Isabella Okafor who won the crown in December 2018 might end up being the last winner of the crown, if Imo State government decides to dump the brand entirely.
A section of aspiring models are wondering if the new partnership will give birth to something similar to Ada and Opara Imo Pageant where the forms are free of charge, since contestants at the last edition of Mr. and Miss Imo Pageant paid for the forms.
Hon. Eric Uwakwe did not give further information and is yet to respond to some of the questions directed to him to ascertain the nature the partnership between Chris Events and Imo State Government; the fate of Ada and Opara Imo Pageants and the role winners of the pageants will be playing in the state when they emerge.
So far, Imo entertainers are still yearning for the appointment of SSA on Entertainment by the governor, Sen. Hope Uzodinma and while many have publicly declared interest for the highly coveted office, the state government is still mute on who takes over the office.