House, Senate to Sign Resolution to ‘Legalize’ SKD Sports Complex as Inauguration Venue

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Because the Capitol Building, which is undergoing renovation, is by law the venue for the presidential inauguration ceremony, the legislature was forced to legalize SKD Sports Complex as the venue for this historic instance.

Today, at least one-fourth of the members of the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate are expected to sign a resolution in a special session to allow the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville as the venue of the inauguration of President-elect George M. Weah and Vice President-elect Jewel Howard-Taylor.

During the 52nd Legislature, the law was amended that the grounds of the Capitol Building the seat of the legislature must be used as the inauguration venue.

The ongoing construction of the two annexes of the Capitol Building, at the cost of US$23m, by the People’s Republic China (PRC) has necessarily moved the inauguration to the SKD Sports Complex in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.

In exclusive interviews with three lawmakers who asked for anonymity at the end of yesterday’s executive meeting in the Chambers of the House of Representatives, they said at least 19 members of the House of Representatives and 8 Senators could affix their signatures to approve the resolution to make the SKD Sports Complex a lawful venue for the inauguration.

If the resolution is not signed by the Legislature, that means the SKD will not be legal and “we will not participate in the inauguration,” one legislator said. “The resolution is to allow the venue to be legitimate for us to attend.”

According to Article 53 (a) of the 1986 Constitution: “The President and Vice President shall, before entering on the execution of the duties of their respective offices, take a solemn oath or affirmation to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and laws of the Republic and faithfully execute the duties of the offices. The oath or affirmation shall be administered in joint convention of both Houses of the Legislature by the Chief Justice or, in his absence, the most senior Associate Justice.”

Inauguration calendar of events

Amid the anticipated resolution, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already released the calendar of events leading to the inauguration, beginning today (Friday) and the SKD as the venue of the January 22 inauguration day.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, the Inaugural 2018 Calendar of Events begins on Friday, January 19, with what is dubbed: Taste of Liberia. This event takes place at the Nancy B. Doe Market, Jorkpen Town, Sinkor from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Muslim community will host inaugural intercessory prayers at the Benson Street Mosque from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

On Saturday, January 20, there will be a Peace Football Match between Weah All-Stars (WAS) and the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) at the Barclay Training Center from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Also on the same day, the Women of Liberia will have an honoring program at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium beginning at 10:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m.

On Sunday, January 21, at 11:00 a.m., another inaugural intercessory service takes place at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion that will be hosted by the Christian community. Later in the evening, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., a Musical, Arts, Culture and Fashion Show showcasing Liberia takes place at the Monrovia City Hall.

On Monday, January 22, the official inauguration ceremony of President-elect George Manneh Weah and Vice President-elect, Jewel Howard Taylor, takes place at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville beginning at 9:45 a.m.

Immediately following the swearing-in ceremony, an inaugural luncheon takes at the same venue, the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex, beginning at 1:30 p.m. through 2:30 p.m.

At 7:00 p.m., the inaugural ball, in honor of President George Manneh Weah and Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor takes place at the Executive Pavilion on Ashmun Street.

Meanwhile, as directed by the Chief of Protocol all persons attending the inauguration ceremony at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex must observe the following:

No cars will be allowed to enter the Complex; all guests, with the exception of those listed in the Special Protocol, will enter the premises through the Main Entrance; the ushering of guests to the Ceremony will commence at 7:00 a.m. and end at 9:45 a.m. No one will be permitted to enter after 9:45 a.m. except those mentioned below:

The Speaker and Members of the 54th Legislature and former members of the 53rd Legislature will enter the stadium through the VIP entrance and be escorted to seats reserved for them at 9:50 a.m.

Members of the Consular Corps will enter the Stadium through the VIP entrance and be escorted to seats reserved for them at 09:55 a.m.

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Heads of International Organizations will enter the Stadium through the VIP Entrance and be escorted to seats reserved for them at 10:00 a.m.

The Doyen and Members of the Diplomatic Corps will enter the stadium through the VIP entrance and be escorted to seats reserved for them at 10:05 a.m.

The Dean and Members of the Cabinet will enter the Stadium through the VIP Entrance and be escorted to seats reserved for them at 10:10 a.m.

The Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia will enter the Stadium through the VIP Entrance and be escorted to seats reserved for them at 10:15 a.m.

Vice President and Mrs. Joseph Boakai will enter the stadium through the VIP entrance and be escorted to seats reserved for them at 10:20 a.m.

The President of the Republic of Liberia will enter the stadium through the VIP entrance and be escorted to the seat reserved for her at 10:25 a.m.

The Vice President-elect will enter the stadium through the VIP entrance and be escorted to the seat reserved for her at 10: 30 a.m.

Foreign Heads of State and Government will enter the Stadium through the VIP Entrance and be escorted to seats reserved for them at 10:35 am.

The President-elect and Mr a& Mrs. George Weah will be met and escorted by the Joint Legislative Committee through the VIP Entrance, and escorted to seats reserved for them at 10:55 am.

3 COMMENTS

  1. When the country looses class, this is what happens as i thought this was for the particular occassion as Weah was a footballer.

  2. Liberian leaders have no shame!!!!!

    Lately, I have seen President Sirleaf running around like a chicken with its head cut-off hurriedly dedicating last minute projects: some finished and some unfinished with her name inscribed on all of them. Why will she selfishly take credit for all the new edifices constructed in Liberia under her administration when it took team work to accomplish these tasks? There are other important members of her government that could be represented at these last minute dedication ceremonies like V. P. Boakai & others … …….but time will tell.

    Is it because all these foreign leaders are coming for George Weah inauguration and she wants to show off her accomplishment? These African leaders would not be impressed because Monrovia still looks like a big dilapidated village in comparison to Capital Cities of these foreign African Leaders and dignitaries.

    President Sirleaf knew that after 12 years, her time as president will be over. Liberia will be electing a new leader. Why is the Executive Mansion, the seat of government, still not ready? It is a shame to have a new president inaugurated, and the new president has no office to work in while those overpaid lawmakers have a capitol building to do their undercover concession deals.

    These head of states and foreign dignitaries will come and see how Liberia, the oldest African Republic, is so undeveloped? A country where its population lives on $1.25 a day and 80% of its population is unemployed, living without electricity or running water.
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    Despite last minute scrambling to legalize SKD (Samuel Kanyaon Doe) Stadium for this inauguration, we thank God the Chinese renovated SKD Stadium just in time for this unprecedented inauguration. Unlike the small grounds of the Capitol, SKD Stadium is large enough to host the anticipated large crowd.

    However, SKD lies on the out-sketch of Monrovia: will government provide public transportation for the common people who voted to witness this special inauguration? Also, the unpredictable Monrovia weather could be a determining factor for outdoor activities. Where is the contingency plan for bad weather forecast on the day of the inauguration? Monrovia has no large indoor conference center, civic center, or convention center that can host up to five thousand people.

    When I was growing up in Monrovia in the sixties, Tubman had only three major places for large events: The Monrovia City Hall; The Executive Pavilion, and the Old Executive Mansion. Next, Tolbert built the OAU Conference Center in Virginia in 1979 (damaged during the war). Since then, not a single large indoor public building/arena/convention center has been built to host large conferences in Liberia. No wonder why the hotel industries are making all the profits to host large government conferences in Liberia.

    We can to better to upgrade our facilities or build new facilities to host large indoor gatherings, just in case of increment weather and the proper accommodation of foreign dignitaries and national events.

    Monrovia cannot always continue to look like a big old dirty village after 170 years of existence. Our leaders and lawmakers have no shame!!!!

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