The 44th Miss Nigeria, Shatu Garko, has slammed those who criticised her for participating in the beauty pageant because she is a Muslim.
The 18-year-old hijab-wearing queen said though critics may continue to talk, the Miss Nigeria crown is already on her head and there is nothing she can do about it.
The Commander General of the Kano Hisbah Board, Harun Ibn-Sina, said that the Sharia Police would invite the parents of Garko for allowing her to participate in the Miss Nigeria pageant on December 17, 2021 at the Landmark Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
Garko, who wore a hijab during the pageant, had won the beauty pageant and took home the prize of N10m, one-year residency in a luxury apartment, brand new car, and many brand ambassadorship opportunities.
However, the Hisbah boss said Garko’s participation is illegal and unknown to Islam, adding that the parents of the teenager would be invited so that other ladies won’t model after Garko.
The Director of the Muslim Rights Concern, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, had also backed the Hisbah Board’s decision to grill the parents of Garko, saying the beauty pageant is not different from television reality show, Big Brother Naija.
But some northern activists including Aisha Yesufu, and Shehu Sani had roasted the Hisbah Board over the planned invitation and the Board later disowned the plan.
Speaking in an interview on Friday, Garko said, “No one has called me but I’ve gotten so many comments and DMs that ‘I was naked’, ‘I’m doing the wrong thing.”
The Kano State indigene said that Nigerians like judging people, adding that many have ignorantly claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari and the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, paid for her to be crowned as Miss Nigeria.
“Honestly, Nigerians like judging people. Many people said the president paid for me to get the crown; others said my state governor paid to get crowned. Some people said my parents paid Miss Nigeria for me to get crowned but that’s not true,” she told BBC Pidgin.
“Some people who are not even Muslims said that I’m spoiling the Miss Nigeria culture. Honestly, I don’t reply them, I don’t say anything, I just move on. The crown is already on my head so there is nothing I can do,” she added.
The teenager said she hopes to use her crown to “eliminate menstrual poverty and educate young girls on menstrual hygiene”.