— says he was refused and blocked from entering the SKD Stadium VIP section, but the gov’t has refuted the story
Montserrado Senator Abe Darius Dillion has accused state security officers of harassing and attacking him and his bodyguard while trying to enter the VIP section of the SKD Sports Stadium during the National County Sports Meet finals, which was being played between Montserrado and Lofa counties.
In a Facebook post yesterday, Sen. Dillion explained that he was denied entering the SKD sports stadium to watch the final between Montserrado and Lofa Counties despite displaying his VIP tickets to state securities offices that were guiding the VIP entry.
Sen. Dillion added the humiliations took place in front of the Director of the Executive Protection Service, who kept watching and did nothing to stop his men and other state security personal from blocking and embarrassing him from entering the field.
“President Weah Executive Protection Service continues to disrespect and target me. This disrespect has gone beyond, and even with a VIP ticket clearly displayed, I was embarrassed, refused, and blocked from entering the SKD in the presence of the EPS Director and other state security officers. My personal security guard was harassed, assaulted, and injured,” Sen. Dillion said.
The accusation, according to Executive Mansion is out of the narrative, and that Sen. Dillion had access to the field, rather he chose to create a scene out of a situation involving his securities personals who were denied entry due to the absence of a VIP ticket.
“VIP was strictly by ticket. No one including senators or representatives’ security enter without a ticket,” explained Presidential Press Secretary Solo Kelgbeh. “He ordered his security to force their way. In the process, they injured an EPS officer and broke the entrance door glass.”
However, Sen. Dillion in response categorically denied the Executive Mansion narrative and accused the government of cover-up after the attack. Sen. Dillion added that he issued no such order of force as was told by the government so the story is “a complete lie and a shameless attempt to cover up.”
“I issued no such order. The EPS officer insisted I would not enter. When I asked, he said, that was my order. Meanwhile, he was trying to allow others in when the crowd went rushing in,” Sen. Dillion narrative in during an Inquiry by the Daily Observer newspaper. “It was at that point he held my security guard and ordered his arrest. There was when I refused to allow that to happen because that was a direct affront to me.”
Sen. Dillion further said that he had two VIP tickets, which he planned to use for himself and the one security detail that accompanied him into the stadium. The other two members of his security detail, he explained, simply escorted him to the entrance of the stadium before going back to mind his vehicle.
“I had two VIP tickets. I was going along with one of my security and the other two were to remain outside with my vehicle. They simply escorted me at the entry to see me in before going back to the vehicle. They were not going to enter the VIP at all,” the Montserrado County Senator said.
Sen. Dillion added when his other two security personnel notice the disrespect and hostility against their boss in the midst of a huge crowd, “that was when they got involved,” he said, citing safety reasons.
“Normally, I do not sit in the VIP at the stadium. I go around the field. Everyone knows. But sadly, an EPS officer who has found it a habit to show me disrespect and dishonor at every state function since I became Senator went on his spree again,” he added.
Sen. Dillion alleged that he has twice reported the unprofessional and unethical behavior of the EPS officer to the Senate Pro Temp who has only apologized to him every time the issue is reported.
“So, even the Pro Temp and the Senate have been and are aware of this continuous show of disrespect to me by the EPS. This is the fifth time this particular EPS officer has behaved so unruly toward me, including at the Capitol Building. I had to leave the stadium without entering the field to watch the game,” Sen. Dillion added. “It would have been worse and chaotic had I not held restraint as a national leader. The thousands of supporters that went to witness the game were up and ready to retaliate as a means of protecting me; I had to appeal for calm.”
Meanwhile, the elite Executive Protection Service has said they are saddened by Sen. Dillion’s continuous failure to observe and abide by established protocols put in place to usher guests at functions that the President is attending.
Apparently corroborating the account narrated by Solo Kelgbeh’s to the Daily Observer, the EPS narrated that the Senator without regards to the protocols instructed his personal guards to ignore, and bypass security to enter the VIP stand even though he was that every representative and Senator in the VIP section was there without personal security, especially when the designated security does not have a ticket.
“The Senator’s refusal to adhere to these guidelines resulted in a melee during which his security injured an EPS officer and broke the glass at the entrance. But in spite of the unfortunate scene, the EPS offered the Senator the opportunity to enter the VIP stand; a gesture he refused,” the President security said in a statement.
It added that the EPS would continue to remain professional in the discharge of its duties despite the Senator and all others bent on provocative the EPS to tarnish its reputation.
In a related development, LOFA stunned Montserrado to win the 2020/2021 National County Sports Meet for the first time in the history of the competition, which was inaugurated in 1956. LOFA won the competition by a goal margin of 3-1 at the SKD Sports Complex in Paynesville City after a tension-soaked first half-half that ended 1-1.
The win for LOFA County is not only history but also their first final in 17 years after losing out to Gbarpolu County 2-1 Lofa County in 2004. This means LOFA has participated in two finals: losing one and winning one.