(By Dotun Onimole)

EIGHTEEN-year-old Anna Banner has been crowned the 26th Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria.

The young lady, who contested as Miss Bayelsa on Saturday night, received the crown from her predecessor, Isabella Ayuk, at the grand finale in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

The 5.6-foot fair complexioned teenager beat Stephanie Okwu (Miss Imo) and Powede Lawrence(Miss Adamawa) to the second and third positions respectively, at the event marked by musical performances and motivational talks.

With the victory, Banner won a brand new car. She will represent Nigeria at the Miss World 2013 finale in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The pageant, organised by Silverbird Group, was hosted by the Bayelsa State Government in Yenagoa.

Speaking shortly after she was crowned, Banner, who disclosed that she was “temporarily pleasantly shocked” when she was declared the winner, described the feat as a product of a long – cherished dream.

She urged children and youths to be faithful to their dreams, saying, “You will never know where you will be tomorrow.”