15 January 2013

Liberia: Ct.com Boss Condemns Miss Liberia Committee Report

The Chief Executive Officer of the entertainment group CT.com Mr. Christopher Hayes Onanuga has condemned the committee report on the controversial Miss Liberia 2012 beauty pageant.

Mr. Onanuga said the report was intended purposely to put his high earned character on the line. The committee reported recently that nearly all of the participants alleged physical abuse and molestation by the Chief Organizer of CT.Com, Mr. Chris Onanuga.

But Mr. Onanuga described the allegation as stigmatization of Liberian women, saying, "it is a bitter pill to swallow that the Committee, using taxpayers' monies, could not think of [anything] better except bracketing and equating beautiful Liberian ladies to sex workers.

"Not only had this assertion, which is without any substantiation, stigmatized Liberian women, especially beauty queens, as trading their dignity for sex, it has also broken their morale for any future participations," he noted.

He urged Liberians to join him to shame those behind this unwholesome stigmatization of Liberian women. "I am sure that the beauty queens you see here will either add or subtract more credence to this unsubstantiated allegation," he added.

Among others, the report maintained the cancellation of the entire results of the 2012 Miss Liberia Beauty Pageant. The committee wants the vehicle earmarked for the winner sold and the money equally distributed amongst all 11 contestants.

"All sponsors, whose goods and services were marketed by the contestants, should receive their just benefits for the services rendered", it further read.

It called on the Government of Liberia to provide scholarships for the contestants to attend any school of their choice within the country, and called for the investigation of Mr. Onanuga for alleged abuse and molestation by the contestants.

The committee's report was partially read at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism weekly press briefing on Thursday, January 10, 2012 by the Deputy Minister for Cultural Affairs Madam Elizabeth Hoff.

Minister Hoff said the committee is also recommending that CT.Com and its CEO should be banned from hosting Miss Liberia Beauty Pageant, and any other event being sponsored by the government for 5 years.

The Deputy Minister re-emphasized that the 2012 Miss Liberia pageant exposed the country to both local and international disrepute. She expressed dismay over the representation of Liberia at the Miss ECOWAS beauty pageant in Nigeria. Minister Hoff said the government will take the appropriate action when the need arises concerning the unauthorized representation of the country at ECOWAS.

Of late, media reports had it that Liberia was represented at the Miss ECOWAS Beauty Pageant by Miss Meyatta Metzger and Briggette Brouhana, accompanied by Montserrado County District # 9 Representative Munah Pelham.

Madam Hoff said: "We have some problems with people, who should not have left the country to represent us at Miss ECOWAS, posting as Miss Liberia, and went to the pageant. We are not concern about who took them there."

" We are concern about the image of our country. You can't just have people stepping out there and representing Liberia. That has a negative effect on our country. And so, we're definitely going to be looking into that." She said now that report has been received, the next step is to publish the full content.

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